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Physics Lab

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PHYSICS LAB REPORT Investigating the oscillation of a spring under different forces Aim: To find the spring constant k of a spring under different forces by using different masses to produce extension and oscillations. Apparatus: * Spring * Hook and weights * Clamp stand * Meter rule * Laptop with Logger Pro * Motion sensor and other electrical appliances Method: 1. Using the meter rule measure the length of the spring. 2. Fix the motion sensor onto the clamp stand and attach the spring to the hook on it. 3. Attach the weight hook (mass 100g) to the spring. 4. Allow the spring to become more or less stationary and then measure its length. 5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 using 200g, 300g, 400g and 500g masses in turn and record all the results. 6. Set up the laptop with Logger Pro and the other electrical appliances, including the motion sensor. 7. Attach the weight hook (mass 100g) to the spring and allow it to oscillate freely. 8. Start the data collection on Logger Pro and use it to find the time period for one oscillation (which is actually the wavelength of the sine-curve graph). ...read more.


This gives the formula F = kx, where k is the spring constant of the spring. Putting this equation in the form y = mx + c we get k = F � x, where k is m, the gradient of the graph. Graph 1: Force plotted against extension:- The gradient of the graph, which is the spring constant, is around 10.26. The gradient of the maximum line is around 10.33 and the gradient of the minimum line is 10.18. This means that the spring constant of this spring is 10.26 �0.08. In order to ascertain that 10.26 is the value of k for this spring another graph can be plotted using a different formula which is , where T is average time in seconds, m is mass in kilograms and k is the spring constant. Putting this formula in the form y = mx + c we get the gradient of the line k = ((2?)� � m) � T�. Table 3: Mass used and time taken for one oscillation:- Mass (in Kg �0.001Kg) ...read more.


* From Graph 1 we have 10.26 �0.08, which gives us numbers in the range of 10.18 and 10.34, both inclusive. * From Graph 2 we have 9.67 �0.51, which gives us numbers in the range of 9.16 and 10.18, both inclusive. * From the number line we see that 10.18 is the only value that falls into the range from both graphs, so this is assumed to be the value of k. Evaluation: Sources of error:- * Since the experiment was conducted mainly using electronic equipment, the chances of errors are slim. However, when calculating the time taken using Logger Pro, estimations were made based on the graphs, and this uncertainty was not calculated. * Random and parallax errors may have occurred while measuring the length of the spring. Improvements:- * Instead of estimating the time taken for one oscillation to be completed by looking at the graph the time table could be used for greater accuracy. * Doing more trials and using a wider range of masses or comparing the spring constants for two different springs would produce varied data that could be compared to the results of this experiment. ...read more.

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