Force Constant of Surgical Tubing

  • Thread starter tesla93
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  • #1
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The Problem:

I found the force constant of surgical tubing for a catapult I have to make for physics class. However I discovered that I have to reduce the length of the tubing a few centimetres to get a longer range for the projectile. Will reducing the length change the force constant?

I feel like it won't, as its a constant, but i just want to be sure before I start anything.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
kuruman
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It's constant for a given spring in the sense that it is independent of the amount it stretches. If you cut a spring in half, it gets stiffer, does it not? That's because you need twice as much force to stretch it by the same amount. Cutting a piece off your tubing will increase its spring constant.

Incidentally, you may wish to check how constant that constant is. If you double and triple the weight hanging from the tubing does it stretch by double or triple the amount?
 
  • #3
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Oh okay I understand. So then I have to re evaluate the force constant.

When I found the force constant the first time it was surprisingly constant. For example, for every 50 grams added to the end of the tube it stretched 0.5 cm.

Thanks for the help! Hopefully the new length of tubing is just as consistent haha.
 

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