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# Investigating the speed of pulses along a strectched spring

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Introduction

Title

Investigating the speed of pulses along a strectched spring

Objective

This experiment is to measure the speed of pulses along a stretched spring and compare it with the thearetical value.

Apparatus

Long spring x 1

Stop-watch x 1

Newton balance(scale 0-10N) x 1

Metre rule or measuring tape x 1

Compression balance(scale 0-2kg) x 1

Theory

A wave, which can transfer energy from one point to another, consists of a disturbance moving from a source to sorrounding places.

There are two types of progressive wave: transverse wave and longitudinal wave. The direction associated with the disturbance is at right angles to the direction of travel by the transverse wave. The disturbance is in the same direction as that of the longitudinal wave. The pulses of this two type of waves can be sent along a slinky spring.

Middle

11.2

12.7

13.4

14.8

16.0

Time of travel/s

2.6

2.3

2.2

2.1

2.1

2.1

Measured pulse speed/m s–1

7.308

9.739

11.545

12.762

14.095

15.238

Tension T/N

6.5

10.0

12.5

15.0

17.5

20.0

Mass per unit length μ/kg m–1

0.130

0.110

0.097

0.092

0.083

0.077

Conclusion

Second, the spring may not be evently distributed. This would affect the calculation of the mass and the length. Thus, μ may not be accurately calculated.

Third, there is a measurement error because of we correct the answers to 3 or 4 decimal places. It would affect the calculation.

Lastly, there is a systematic error as the scaler of the equipment is not enough to show the more accurate result. It would  affect the counting of the length and the weight of the spring.

Improvement

1. Use another electronic equipment to count the time to low the error of time taken.
2. Repeat the experiment more time to reduce radom error.
3. To change a new spring to make the result μ more accurate.
4. To change the equpiment that can reduce the systematic error.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

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