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Investigating elastic bands in comparison with springs.

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Investigating elastic bands in comparison with springs.


My aim is to try and find out whether there is any connection between the way rubber bands and springs stretch once weights have been added.

Factors that may affect the experiment are:

  • The thickness of the band.
  • The length of the band.
  • The amount of weights added to the rubber band.
  • The temperature of the band and the room.

In this experiment I will use the number of weights as my variable. Therefore, so that this is the only factor that affects my experiment, I will use the same elastic band each time to ensure that the thickness and length of the band will remain the same throughout my experiments. I will make sure that the room temperature is the same each time I do an experiment my using a thermometer to check the temperature. This should not be too much of a problem however, as I will be using the same room each time I repeat the experiment and the outside temperature will not have changed to the extreme that it will drastically affect the room temperature.


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As I have already stated, I will measure the temperature of the room in Celsius and the weights in Newton’s. I will also have to measure the length of the spring and I have decided to measure this in centimetres correct to the nearest 10th of a centimetre as I feel that this gives a sensible yet still accurate reading. I will record the extension in a table and then later the results will be presented on a graph.

As well as the points I have previously mentioned there are a few other things that need to be done to ensure that the experiment is safe and fair. I will need to wear goggles to protect my eyes from any bands that may happen to snap and shoot into my eye. I will stand during the experiment with my stool under the desk so that if the clamp stand for any reason is not properly secured and falls, I can move out of the way quick enough to prevent it from falling onto my feet. Each time I add weights I will expect the band to oscillate.

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To improve my experiment I would do another one so that I had three sets of results instead of two. This would make it more accurate. I would also try doing the experiment again but using a completely new elastic band to see if this affected the experiment as it may be stronger.

My results seem pretty accurate as when I compare the results from both experiments, the largest difference between them is on 0.3cm.

My evidence is strong enough to confirm my prediction because it clearly shows that the extension does not go up in proportion to the load and this is what I predicted. It shows a comparison between springs and elastic bands which shows what my results would be if the extension was going up in proportion to the load. Also, as my results were accurate, I think it is safe to say that my evidence is strong enough to confirm my prediction.

If I were to do any further experiments I would try springs/bands in parallel and two springs/bands in series and see how these affected my results.

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