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Investigate the way in which springs arranged in parallel (i.e. side by side) behave when a fixed load (force) is applied to them. Explain how the increasing the number of springs affect the behaviour.

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Introduction

                Physics Coursework: Parallel Springs

Year 10 Science Investigation: Parallel Springs

Planning

Aim:

        To investigate the way in which springs arranged in parallel (i.e. side by side) behave when a fixed load (force) is applied to them. Explain how the increasing the number of springs affect the behaviour.

Prediction:

        I predict that the greater number of springs used to carry a fixed load, the less the extension. If there are fewer springs carrying the load, the extension, or stretching distance will by larger. I also predict that the springs will be permanently deformed if the load is too great or if there are not enough springs to support the load.

Hypothesis:

        The extension of the springs is proportional to the load. In other words, the length in which the springs are stretched is directly proportional to the load. This is similar to Hooke’s Law, which states that if you stretch something with a steadily increasing force, then the length will increase steadily too. This experiment is slightly different. From my knowledge of Hooke’s Law and all the work I have done on forces, I hypothesize that if a force stretches a steadily increasing number of springs, the length will decrease in a linear fashion. If the springs are stretched beyond the elastic limit

...read more.

Middle

29

3

15

30

15

4

15

24.5

9.5

5

15

21.5

6.5

6

15

20

5

7

15

19.5

4.5

Test 2

# of Springs

Original Length (cm)

New Length     (cm)

Extension

(cm)

2

15

44

29

3

15

31

16

4

15

24.5

9.5

5

15

21

6

6

15

19

4

7

15

18.5

3.5

Test 3

# of Springs

Original Length (cm)

New Length

(cm)

Extension

(cm)

2

15

42

27

3

15

30

15

4

15

24

9

5

15

21.5

6.5

6

15

20.5

5.5

7

15

20

5

Test 4

# of Springs

...read more.

Conclusion

Results:

The results that were obtained were very reliable and accurate. They can be easily used to prove that my predictions and hypotheses were wrong. The anomalities were very small and insignificant. The reasons why my results weren’t perfect were because:

  • I may have mixed up the springs after every test. This would not affect the tests greatly because the springs are practically identical. Some may just have been used more than others.
  • At least one variable wasn’t completely controlled.
  • The sizes (and also weights) of the play-doh used for securing the springs and load may have varied. This would affect the extension of the springs but not by much.
            

        My predictions were correct that the greater number of springs used to carry a fixed load, the less the extension and if there are fewer springs carrying the load, the extension, or stretching distance will by larger. My hypothesis which was based on Hooke’s Law was not completely correct but the springs did stretch further when less springs were used to carry the load. My results were good enough to support a firm conclusion.

I can suggest further work that would extend my investigation:

  • Investigate Hooke’s Law
  • Test the extension of springs carrying different objects
  • Test the extension of springs made of different material

...read more.

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