• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
1. 1
1
2. 2
2
3. 3
3
4. 4
4
5. 5
5
6. 6
6

# What is the spring constant?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Energy stored in a spring

Preliminary investigation

## What is the spring constant?

Planning

Aim – to gain an average compression rate of the spring in the trolley in order to find the spring constant.

Apparatus

Clamp stand

2 clamps

2 bosses,

24 0.98N weights

2 weight holders

3 labels

Pencil

Sprit level

Trolley

Ruler (measures to nearest 5 x 10-4m)

Diagram

Plan – I am going to investigate the spring constant of the spring in the trolley to enable me to calculate the energy stored in the spring in the major investigation. To calculate the spring constant, I need to plot my results onto a graph and draw a line of best fit. The spring constant is equal to the gradient of this straight line. To obtain my results, the above apparatus will be collected and set up as shown above. The spirit level will be used to check that the trolley is perpendicular to the ground. The trolley needs to be perpendicular to the ground for 2 reasons. 1). So that all of the weight of the weights act on the spring and not a component, 2). So that there is no friction between the plunger and it’s housing. The variable that is being changed is the force applied to the spring; 0.98N will be added in each of the 12 increments.

Middle

These results were more consistent with C2 and are shown in the table opposite. A graph using the average of these results was plotted and the line of best fit passed through the origin. The gradient of this best fit line was found by dividing the increase in y values, by the increase in x values. The gradient of the graph is equal to the constant of the spring. So, 12.5/0.024 = 527 N/m (3.s.f)

Evaluating

The most significant measurement was the first one. As you saw, if that measurement was wrong, the rest of the measurements would be out. This would push the best fit line away from the origin. Possible sources of error in this experiment could only have come from the marking and subsequent measuring of the spring compression. The error that occurred in the measuring of the compression for C1 and C3 was a systematic error as the plunger was incorrectly calibrated. Errors in the measuring of the compression with the ruler were random, as the last figure had to be estimated to the nearest 0.5 mm.  To calculate the potential error, I will redraw the graph and draw 2 lines of ‘worst fit’. These will be either side of the best-fit line and the difference in gradients will illustrate the error in the spring constant.

Conclusion

The reliability of my data may be called into question by third parties because of my method of measuring the compression with the label on the plunger. I believe these doubts to be false. I believe that my results are the most accurate that I could achieve with the equipment and time available. To improve the accuracy of my results, if the time and equipment were available, I would like to take many more readings, the wooden board replaced with ice and the wheels replaced with blade tracks. This will reduce the friction to almost zero, and this will give a lot more accurate reading that by even tilting the board.

Page  of

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology section.

## Found what you're looking for?

• Start learning 29% faster today
• 150,000+ documents available
• Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
• Join over 1.2 million students every month
• Accelerate your learning by 29%
• Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

# Related AS and A Level Waves & Cosmology essays

1. ## The aim of this investigation is to examine the effect on the spring constant ...

by the extension observed (in metres). This means that the from a graph plotting force applied vertically and extension observed horizontally, the spring constant is simply the gradient of the line. Due to possible experimental error, it will be best to take the sum of all forces and divide them by the sum of all extensions.

2. ## Determine the value of 'g', where 'g' is the acceleration due to gravity.

dx Difference in x co-ordinate From graph 1 Now substitute the value of m into the formula above The value of 'k' can now be used to find the effective mass of the spring in the intercept formula. The calculations above also show how to work out the value of

1. ## The experiment involves the determination, of the effective mass of a spring (ms) and ...

check can be made ms using the formula, ms = C?k 4?2 ms = 0.0456?21.27 4?2 ms = 0.025 kg (N.B. it is a rough check as it does not take into account any uncertainties in k.) To find the uncertainty in k and in ms error bars are draw

2. ## The Anglers Problem

This is called branched, or low-density polyethylene. When there is no branching, it is called linear polyethylene. Linear polyethylene is much stronger than branched polyethylene, but branched polyethylene is cheaper and easier to make and so our elastic bands are probably made with this material and so will not be as strong.

1. ## Study the interference of light using Helium - Neon Diode Laser.

S is a narrow narrow slit (of width about 1mm) illuminated by a monochromatic sources of light. At a suitable distance (about 10cm) from S, there are two fine slits A and B about 0.5 mm apart placed symmetrically parallel to S.

2. ## What affects the kinetic energy of a trolley?

every time, it could affect the results because one of the surfaces I use might be slanted or an uneven surface, whereas if I use the same surface for the whole experiment I know that all the results won't of been affect by the surface.

1. ## Waves and Cosmology - AQA GCE Physics Revision Notes

The spectra lines that are emitted from opposite sides of the stars are also blue and red shift ? rotational speed can be determined. * The orbital speed of stars in a galaxy can be found using the Doppler Effect.

2. ## I intend to investigate whether any correlation exists between the wavelength of light exerted ...

Trial Gradient 1 68.29 2 67.68 3 67.68 4 67.68 5 67.08 6 67.68 7 67.68 8 67.08 9 68.29 10 67.08 None of these values lie outside of 1.5 x IQR, and so again I have no outliers. The standard deviation of this data set is 0.45 (using the

• Over 160,000 pieces
of student written work
• Annotated by
experienced teachers
• Ideas and feedback to