Investigate the effect of mass on the extension of a spring.

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Investigation into the effect of mass on the extension

of a spring

Aim: My aim is to investigate the effect of mass on the extension of a spring.

Things, which might affect this, are:

· Downward force applied to spring.

· Spring material.

· Length of spring.

· No. of coils in spring.

· Cross sectional area of spring.

I have chosen to look at the effect of the weight applied, as it is a continuous variation.


We shall conduct an experiment to determine how the extension of a spring varies with the stretching force.

A spring is hung vertically from a fixed point and a force is applied in stages by hanging weights from the spring.

The apparatus is set up as shown. For the purposes of this experiment we shall be using loads of 100g, and the extension of the spring shall be measured in cm.


I used the following equipment to do my experiment:

* Retort stand

* Weights

* 30cm ruler

* Scientific Calculator

* Weight holder with spring.

* Boss Clamp


Using scientific knowledge from that of Hooke's law, I am able to conduct a hypothesis.

Hooke's law reveals that the extension is proportional to that of the load, and so if load increases, so does the extension and so stretching the distance. He discovered that extension is proportional to the downward force acting on the springs and so we can use this formula to predict the results.
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Extension= New length - Original Length


I predict that the greater the weight applied to the spring, the further the spring will stretch. This is because extension is proportional to load and so if load increases so does extension and so stretching distance

To see if my prediction is correct I will experiment, and obtain results using Hookes Law. He found that extension is proportional to the downward force acting on the spring.

Results Table

Length (cm)

Mass (g)







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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

Grammar and punctuation are both good overall. The phrase 'dependant variable' is incorrectly used; as the variables outlined were actually control variables (meaning they shouldn't be varied at all, in fact). The claim that the experiment 'proved' Hooke's Law is quite short sighted – a word such as 'supported' would be a much better fit.

Unfortunately, the writer seems to miss some key elements of the science being discussed. The fact that Hooke's Law states the force is directly proportional is overlooked, in both the discussion of the hypothesis and the result/conclusion itself. Furthermore, they fail to explain how as the force is directly proportional to the extension (and since the only force acting on the spring is the weight caused by the mass hanging) then the mass is proportional – that fact is just stated outright instead. Otherwise the method, equipment etc. are all described in good detail.

The writer clearly targets the aim of the investigation, and consistently refers back to it and how the experiment is accomplishing it. The student gives a strong hypothesis backed up by scientific theory, and goes on to give a conclusion based on the results of the experiment. I was disappointed with the lack of a graph as it would help give a visual representation of the result.