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Investigate the effect of mass on the extension of a spring.

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Introduction

Investigation into the effect of mass on the extension of a spring Aim: My aim is to investigate the effect of mass on the extension of a spring. Things, which might affect this, are: � Downward force applied to spring. � Spring material. � Length of spring. � No. of coils in spring. � Cross sectional area of spring. I have chosen to look at the effect of the weight applied, as it is a continuous variation. Introduction We shall conduct an experiment to determine how the extension of a spring varies with the stretching force. A spring is hung vertically from a fixed point and a force is applied in stages by hanging weights from the spring. The apparatus is set up as shown. For the purposes of this experiment we shall be using loads of 100g, and the extension of the spring shall be measured in cm. Equipment: I used the following equipment to do my experiment: * Retort stand * Weights * 30cm ruler * Scientific Calculator * Weight holder with spring. * Boss Clamp Hypothesis Using scientific knowledge from that of Hooke's law, I am able to conduct a hypothesis. ...read more.

Middle

This occurred at 12N and so I set a limit of weight to 10N for my experiments. The reason why 11N was not used is that 10 experiments is a more standard number and also that the limit of proportionality is slightly less than the elastic limit of the spring, therefore using 10N ensure I do not exceed the proportional or elastic limit of the spring. I also hope to carry out the experiment 3 times and also take an average to increase the reliability of my results. Safety: Due to the preliminary test no strict safety precautions need to be used, as the only potential danger would be if the spring snapped, however this will not happen if there is no more than the maximum load on the spring of 10N at any one time. This will also remove the problem of the stand on which the experiment is taking place from falling over. The following safety precautions must take place: > Safety googles on. Just incase the spring snaps and the metal flies towards your eyes. > Make sure your feet are clear from being directly underneath the weights, incase the spring snaps. ...read more.

Conclusion

I also found a pattern in my results which was that every result I gained was an even number, and that most of them went up in the two times tables. I also found out that after I added the last weight it ended in 16 and It was the same all the way through from my 1st reading to the extension. Evaluation: Overall I think that my experiment was a success. When I look at my results I see reliable, competent and accurate evidence that my experiment went well. I also know that my experiment went well because by carrying out the experiment 3 times and having an average, which makes for more reliable results. I have more evidence that my investigation was a success, from my graph I can say I found no anomalous points and it was a complete success. Although I think my investigation was a success I still think there is room for improvement, I feel I could have found out more about Hookes law to improve and back up my prediction and conclusion. From this I can confidently say that my experiment was a success. Michael Demosthenis Mr Hoy Physics Coursework ...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

The writer clearly targets the aim of the investigation, and consistently refers back to it and how the experiment is accomplishing it. The student gives a strong hypothesis backed up by scientific theory, and goes on to give a conclusion ...

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Response to the question

The writer clearly targets the aim of the investigation, and consistently refers back to it and how the experiment is accomplishing it. The student gives a strong hypothesis backed up by scientific theory, and goes on to give a conclusion based on the results of the experiment. I was disappointed with the lack of a graph as it would help give a visual representation of the result.

Level of analysis

Unfortunately, the writer seems to miss some key elements of the science being discussed. The fact that Hooke's Law states the force is directly proportional is overlooked, in both the discussion of the hypothesis and the result/conclusion itself. Furthermore, they fail to explain how as the force is directly proportional to the extension (and since the only force acting on the spring is the weight caused by the mass hanging) then the mass is proportional – that fact is just stated outright instead. Otherwise the method, equipment etc. are all described in good detail.

Quality of writing

Grammar and punctuation are both good overall. The phrase 'dependant variable' is incorrectly used; as the variables outlined were actually control variables (meaning they shouldn't be varied at all, in fact). The claim that the experiment 'proved' Hooke's Law is quite short sighted – a word such as 'supported' would be a much better fit.


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Reviewed by hassi94 19/03/2012

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