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The effect of applied force on the extension of a spring, using Hooke's Law to predict my results.

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Introduction

Physics Coursework - Forces and Extension Plan Introduction I will be studying the effect of applied force on the extension of a spring, using Hooke's Law to predict my results. I will investigate how much a single spring, two springs in series, and two springs in parallel extend by when I apply measured forces to them. Diagram This is how I set up my apparatus to investigate the springs: Method This is how I conducted the experiment: I set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram. Using the pointer, I measured the extension of the spring from 0N to 3.5N, by adding 1/2 N weights. I then repeated the experiment, using two springs placed side-by-side (parallel), then repeated it again using two springs attached to each other (series). Safety The equipment used in this experiment is all safe, but nevertheless, the weights should not be dropped, and the springs must be handled with care. Prediction/Theory Hooke's Law states that the extension of a spring is directly proportional to the force applied. ...read more.

Middle

Some springs take on a new, more elongated shape when this happens, and other, more brittle springs snap. This should be noted for a safer experiment. For the different arrangements of the springs I predict that the parallel springs will have a smaller extension for the same weights, as this is essentially doubling the spring constant. The opposite will happen for the two springs in series, as the greater length will halve the spring constant, as the springs are basically forming one, longer spring with the same width, thickness etc. This will result in a doubled result, as the weight is not shared. I will test these predictions from my graphs; k = 1 Gradient I will divide my results by 100 to gain k in nm-1 (the results would otherwise be in cm). Observations/results Single Ruler Reading Extension Force (N) 1 2 3 Average 1 2 3 Average 0 53.0 53.0 53.0 53.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 52.2 52.1 52.1 52.1 0.8 0.9 0.9 0.9 1 50.3 50.4 50.5 50.4 2.7 2.6 2.5 2.6 1.5 48.1 48.1 48.2 48.1 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.9 2 44.2 44.3 ...read more.

Conclusion

19.0 18.7 18.9 7.6 7.6 7.8 7.6 4 17.2 17.9 17.0 17.4 9.3 8.6 9.5 9.1 Analysis On the next pages is the graph of my results. I will find the value of k for all the different spring arrangements; Parallel: k = ?y = 1.1 = 0.44 = 0.0044 nm-1 ?x 2.5 Single: k = ?y = 0.50 = 0.22 = 0.0022 nm-1 ?x 2.25 Series: k = ?y = 1.0 = 0.14 = 0.0014 nm-1 ?x 7.0 The spring constants for parallel and series are obviously linked. For these values my results are surprisingly accurate, however, for the series line, although the value is much lower than the single line, it is not half. This is probably due, in fact, to the lower k itself, as this would have caused greater oscillation to the springs when we applied the weights, and so confused our results. However, mainly, my results support my prediction, although there were a few anomalous points. The reasons for these will be explained in the evaluation section. My results agree with, prove and support Hooke's Law. Physics Coursework - Springs Thomas Burton 10l ...read more.

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