# What determines the period of a mass-spring system?

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Introduction

Maggie Ming

L6Sc (21)

Observation:

A mass is hanged from one end of a vertical spring. When it is displaced downwards slightly and released, it oscillates vertically. The time (period) for one complete oscillation is always the same.

Problem:

What determines the period of a mass-spring system?

Hypothesis:

The period of the oscillation is affected by several factors. The material used to make the spring could affect the period. With an increase in the number of springs used and the weight of mass, there would also be a change in the period of oscillation.

Aim:

To find out how the above stated factors would affect the period of the oscillation of the mass.

Principle:

A spring pendulum consists of a mass suspended by a spring from a fixed point. If the bob is drawn aside slightly and released, it oscillates upward and downward in a vertical plane.

Middle

Number of springs used in series

1

2

3

4

5

Period (s)

0.662

0.958

1.189

1.394

1.594

2.

Number of Oscillation | 30 | 30 | 30 | 30 | 30 |

Time used (s) | 17.71 | 19.86 | 25.15 | 28.11 | 31.83 |

Weight of the mass (g) | 30 | 40 | 60 | 80 | 100 |

Number of springs used in series | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 | 1 |

Period (s) | 0.590 | 0.662 | 0.838 | 0.937 | 1.061 |

3.

Material of spring | Copper | Iron |

Number of Oscillation | 30 | 30 |

Conclusion

Possible errors:

- There is reaction time when pressing the stopwatch. Thus the time recorded is not 100% percent.
- There’s little damage to the mass and this would affect the weight of the mass.
- The copper spring is of different width with the iron spring, and this may also lead to a difference in the elasticity of the springs.

Improvement:

- The mass used is in a spherical shape so that the center of weight could be found easily.
- The same part of the experiment is repeated to ensure the accuracy of the results.

Conclusion:

The period of the oscillation is affected by several factors. The material used to make the spring could affect the period. An iron spring would results in a shorter period. With an increase in the number of springs used in series and the weight of mass, the time for a period of oscillation also increase. However, with a rise in the number of springs used alongside each other, the period decreases.

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