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My objective in this experiment is to find out how a spring varies in length with added load. I also want to witness Hookes Law in action, and I want to observe the behaviour of the spring/s even after the load added causes the stress in the spring to

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Emad Rahman – 11NGO – Sapphire House – Science – Mr DeJonge

GCSE Coursework – Hooke’s Law – 05/03/2008

GCSE Science Coursework:

Hooke’s Law

Introduction

As it is known, different materials have different properties. They act differently under different circumstances. There are a number of properties of matter which can be explained in terms of molecular behaviour. Among these properties is elasticity.

Intermolecular forces: these are electromagnetic forces between molecules. The strength and direction of these forces differ in accordance to the separation of the molecules.


Materials are often subjected to different forces. Forces can be distorting, that is they can alter the shape of a body. Two distorting forces I shall look at are tension and compression.

Tension/tensile stress, more generally referred to as stretch, happens when external forces (larger red arrows) act on a body so that different parts of that body are pulled to go in different directions. In most materials, the intermolecular force (smaller aqua arrows) of attraction shows resistance to these external forces, so that once the external forces have abated, the body resumes its original shape/length.

Compression/compressive stress, more generally referred to as squashing, happens when external forces act on a body of material so that different parts of that body are pushed in towards the centre of the body. In most materials, the intermolecular force of repulsion acts against these external forces, so that when the distorting force is removed, the molecules return to their original arrangement and spacing.

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Middle

So basically, once I have set up the entire apparatus, I shall start off taking the measurement of the spring when it is free of load, then let my peers take theirs. Then I shall add a Newton weight one at a time, taking measurements with my helpers each time I add one. Of course we’ll be wearing our goggles, because I don’t want to take any risks.

  1. Collect equipment.
  2. Prepare apparatus as shown in diagram.
  3. Record the length of the spring when it is load-free, to cm, in the prepared table for results.
  4. Add a weight/mass of 1 kg or 1 N, and then take the new length of the spring. Record in the prepared table for results.
  5. Continue adding on weights/masses of 1 kg, recording the length of the spring each time in the prepared table for results.

This should be carried on until the weights can no longer be attached to the hanging spring.


Apparatus

The apparatus that I shall need set up for my experiment consist of the following items:

  1. Retort Stands        (x 2)
  2. Boss and Clamps        (x 2)
  3. Metre Rule
  4. Spring                 (length: 50 mm)                
  5. Newton Weights        (x 15 approximately)

Other items I shall need are three pairs of goggles.

Safety

I must consider my safety when working in the laboratory. It is common when this type of experiment

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Conclusion

Evaluation

Personally, I think that I carried out this experiment successfully, and my method of carrying it out and my method of recording were appropriate, safe, accurate to a reasonable extent, and efficient too. I didn’t come across any weird data or anomalies, and my data presented clear-to-see evidence. It also had a lot of integrity, considering how I recorded and obtained my data. However, there is an important mistake that had not come to my mind, and that is I hadn’t made any record of the material of the spring. I think if I had taken note of the material of the spring, I would have been able to make some comments upon the elasticity of that material. Personally, had it been beneficial to me, I would’ve carried out this entire experiment again, but this time with a spring of slightly longer length (maybe 7 cm) and better capability of holding onto load. This would help me find out how the spring behaves after the load has exceeded its elastic limit. I think the data and the evidence is reliable enough to support my conclusion, and luckily there was no inconsistence to worry about or account for.

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