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Investigation into the elasticity of a set of springs under different conditions.

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Investigation into the elasticity of a set of springs

under different conditions.

Aim: -

To compare the effects of a load an a set of springs in series and in parallel.

  F = Loan (N)

  x = Extension (m)

In order to alter the shape of a spring you need a pair of forces. These forces can either act towards each other known as compression, or they can act away from each other known as tensile. Shown in the picture, we can work out a springs stiffness quite simply. When a load is applied to the spring it stretches producing a extension value from its original length. With this value we can work out the “Springs constant” which is a notation of how stiff the spring is.

F = Kx

K = spring Constant (Nm  )

x = Extension (m)

F = Load (N)

This is Hookes law. We can also work out spring constant using a graph, doing so would improve our accuracy of our results as it takes into account an average of all our results: -



                     K =

change in y

change in x

        Gradient =

a = F α

...read more.


I predict that the springs in parallel will half the spring constant and when the springs are in series the springs constant should double. This is because when the load is kept constant and the extension is decreased then the springs constant is increased. Following this I predict that when the springs are in parallel the resistance to the load will be doubled, therefore halving the extension and increasing the springs constant. Also when the springs are in series the extension will be doubled, this is because the springs resistance to the load will be halved thus decreasing the springs constant.


  1. A clamp stand
  2. Set of 2 springs (20 mm)
  3. 10 Load weights (100 grams)
  4. Metre rule (1 mm grading)
  5. Extra 2 x 1 kg weights
  6. 2 x 150 mm dowel rods(15 mm diameter)
  7. Bluetack

         Series                        Parallel


  1. Set up as Diagram.
  2. Set springs into a parallel position as shown in the diagram. Using the 2 dowel rod and blue tack to hold the springs in place.
  3. Attach metre rule to a fixed point so that the readings are taken from the same point each time.
...read more.



I will ensure that all loads are safely succoured onto the spring, clamp and stand. Basic lab safety should be enforced such as clear walk ways and hair tied back. Also in case the spring “snaps” back goggles should be worn to protect the eyes from the spring. To prevent a snap back reaction, the mass maximum should not be exceeded. 2 kilogram masses must be placed on the clamp and stand so that it will not topple over when the masses are added to the spring.

Analysis of preliminary experiment

        We encountered problems when we were half way through our experiment. When we reached an added weight of 800 grams the clamp and stand toppled over because the clamp and stand was too light. In order to counter this we added 2 kilogram weights to the stand of the clamp this stopped it toppling over.

        After our experiment we weighed our masses and found that none of them were exactly 100 grams. They were 1 or 2 grams lower than the presumed 100 grams. This was because they were old weights and parts of them had chipped off

...read more.

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