Determination of the spring constant of a jumping spring

• Tony Whelan
In summary, I am having difficulty in determining the spring constant for a bouncing spring using data collected from testing.
Tony Whelan

Homework Statement

Hi,
I am having some difficulty in this experiment in determining the spring constant. It involves measuring the height the spring figure bounces and each time adding extra weight and recording the differences in the height. I've recorded the data, plotted a graph of y(spring height) v x(1/m spring mass) and got the slope of the graph. The problem i am having is arranging the equation to find k, the spring constant. Somebody help!

The Attempt at a Solution

Tony Whelan said:

Homework Statement

Hi,
I am having some difficulty in this experiment in determining the spring constant. It involves measuring the height the spring figure bounces and each time adding extra weight and recording the differences in the height. I've recorded the data, plotted a graph of y(spring height) v x(1/m spring mass) and got the slope of the graph. The problem i am having is arranging the equation to find k, the spring constant. Somebody help!
Hi, Tony, welcome to PF!
(1) You are talking about a 'bouncing' spring? Do you add the weight slowly and measure how much it stretched from its original length, once it settles into its at rest position? If yes, plot the Force (objects weight) on the y-axis and the spring displacement from its unstretched length on the x axis, and you should get more or less a straight line, the slope of which is 'k'. I am assuming the spring's mass is negligible, correct? What did you mean by " (I)plotted a graph of y(spring height) v x(1/m spring mass)" ?

(2) Now if you are actually releasing the weight quickly and letting the spring bounce, that's another story. You'll get larger deflections that way.

Am I understanding your question correctly?

Hi, thanks for the fast reply!

Sorry if I am not that clear on the experiment. It involved a figure with a spring, when pressed after a few seconds it would bounce and the height of the bounce recorded. Then some blue tac would be added to the spring and the height of the bounce recorded again, obviously less each time as the spring gets heavier. This was done roughly ten times to get the points to plot a straight line graph, with y as the different heights and x as the different weights. Calculate the slope and then use the appropriate equation to find k, the spring constant.

I have plotted the graph, calculated the slope but i don't know how to manipulate the equation to find the spring constant. I hope you can understand what I am trying to say!

1. How do you determine the spring constant of a jumping spring?

The spring constant of a jumping spring can be determined by using Hooke's law, which states that the force exerted by a spring is directly proportional to the extension or compression of the spring. This means that the spring constant can be calculated by dividing the force applied to the spring by the distance the spring is stretched or compressed.

2. What is the purpose of determining the spring constant of a jumping spring?

The spring constant is an important factor in understanding how a spring behaves and how much force it can exert. Knowing the spring constant can also help in predicting the motion of the spring and its potential energy.

3. How do you measure the force applied to the jumping spring?

The force applied to the jumping spring can be measured using a force sensor or a spring balance. The spring balance measures the amount of force required to stretch or compress the spring, while a force sensor measures the force directly.

4. What factors can affect the accuracy of the spring constant measurement?

The accuracy of the spring constant measurement can be affected by factors such as the precision of the measuring tools, the condition of the spring (e.g. if it is worn out or damaged), and external factors such as air resistance or friction. It is important to minimize these factors as much as possible to obtain an accurate measurement.

5. Can you determine the spring constant of a jumping spring without measuring the force?

No, the spring constant cannot be determined without measuring the force applied to the spring. This is because the spring constant is a measure of the relationship between force and displacement, so both of these factors must be measured in order to calculate the spring constant.

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