• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

My aim in this experiment is to find out how force affects the extension of a spring.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

        -  -        

                How does force affect the extension of a spring?

Aim

My aim in this experiment is to find out how force affects the extension of a spring.

Background Information

Springs are used as force-measuring instruments in everyday life, for example in spring balances and Newton meters. They are also used in watches, toys, cycles, cars and trampolines. It is important to know how much force springs can bear so that these things can be safe for people to use.

        Springs are used so much in everyday life because they are elastic. This means that when a force is exerted onto them they will change shape (stretch) and when the force is removed the spring will regain its original shape. There is a relationship between the force exerted on the spring and the extension of the spring, this is known as Hooke’s law, which states that:

                The extension of a spring is proportional to the force applied

This can also be expressed as:

                                        F = ke

                               Force (N) = constant x extension (mm)

The constant is the stiffness of the spring. A spring with a low value for k is weak and a spring with a high value for k is strong.

...read more.

Middle

Masking tape to attach the pin sized pointer to the spring1N weights

Fair Test (Variables and Constants)

I will make it a fair test by using the same apparatus throughout my experiment apart from the one variable I am changing which is the weight. I will vary the weight by increasing it by 1N each time. The variables that shall remain constant are the ruler, spring, clamps and pin-sized pointer. My input variable is the one I am exploring which is the weight. My output variable is the extension of the spring.

Range

I do not know the range of values I shall use because I will begin by using 0N and increase this by 1N each time until the spring is permanently deformed.

Method

The main steps for setting up the apparatus are:

  • Hang the spring from one of the clamps
  • Using the making tape attach the pin sized pointer to the loop at the bottom of the spring
  • Connect the ruler to the other clamp making sure the pin sized pointer is in line with the number ‘0’ on the ruler
  • Measure the original length of the spring
  • Gently place the weight in the loop at the bottom of the spring
  • Wait until the spring has stopped moving
...read more.

Conclusion

Accuracy

I think my results are quite accurate and allow firm conclusions to be made. Most of my results are close to the line of best fit. However the apparatus I used was not very accurate; the ruler I used was worn out at the ends so it did not measure exactly from 0, the pin sized pointer kept tilting so sometimes it was not pointing on the correct reading.

ReliabilityoftheEvidence

I think my results are quite reliable, if the experiment was repeated the same results would be obtained. I repeated my experiment twice to obtain a more accurate result and both sets of results are similar.

Suitability of the Procedure

Repeating my experiment over again and using better apparatus would help me obtain more accurate results. My experiment could also be made to be even more accurate by using different apparatus such as an ultra sonic measuring device.

Further Work

To find out more about how force affects the extension of a spring I could investigate springs in series and in parallel. This is where springs are combined to share a load.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology essays

  1. The aim of this investigation is to examine the effect on the spring constant ...

    and the base * A workbench * 10 springs of identical nature * 10 Standard Weights all of 100g mass The setup consists of a Stand resting on a work surface with a boss attaching a clamp to the stand.

  2. Determine the value of 'g', where 'g' is the acceleration due to gravity.

    Random error, is the error made during measurements, e.g. experimenter doesn't take the readings properly. Extension of the spring could not be measured by a meter ruler hence equipment not sensitive enough. The experimenter could not stop the stopwatch at the exact time, hence the human error. If random error is very small we say the measurements are precise.

  1. Investigation on how putting springs in series and parallel affects their extension.

    I will then plot graphs for each set of springs onto the same axes and compare them. As force is proportional to extension all three lines of best fit should be relatively straight lines. The line of best fit for the two springs in parallel should have a higher gradient

  2. In this experiment, I am going to find out the relationship between Force and ...

    By plotting my graph of extension against force/load, it will reveal a region where extension is directly proportional to the force. Then I will find the stiffness of my sweets using the formula F=kx, where F is the force measured in Newton's, x is the extension measured in metres and the constant k is the stiffness measured in Nm-1.

  1. The Stiffness Of Springs

    I do not think it is necessary to measure the extension any more accurately than that. I am going to use a piece of mechano with 5 holes in it to allow me to create spring systems in parallel. This will allow the springs to work in a system without interfering with each other.

  2. An Experiment To Examine the Effect of Springs In Parallel

    There is double the amount of molecules in a longer spring to carry the force from the weight, so less extension. The wide-ness of the springs will also affect the experiment. Here are two springs of different wide-ness: A larger area of cross section gives a small extension for a particular force.

  1. Stretching Springs/Hookes Law.

    We will also try to keep the table clean to make it safe and we will also remove all bags or put them under the table or hang them up just in case so no one falls over. We will also remove all stools so that no one will fall over and we will put them under the tables.

  2. I intend to investigate whether any correlation exists between the wavelength of light exerted ...

    Voltages from the solar panel are read in via an analogue pin on the microcontroller. The negative connection from the solar panel is fed to Ground on the Arduino. The Arduino concatenates the time elapsed since the LED was activated with the voltage readout from the solar panel, and this is sent over a USB serial connection to the laptop.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work