# Graphing a rotational spring's constant

1. Jul 16, 2007

### Ry122

Hi
Im trying to find the elastic potential energy stored in a mousetrap spring. I plan on doing this by graphing the spring's constant then integrating the function.
I just wanted to know what i should be measuring with the x-axis.
In normal springs the force is on the y-axis and the compression of the spring (cm) is on the x-axis.
I know it's either going to be degrees or radians (from 0 to 180) im just not sure which one.

2. Jul 16, 2007

### olgranpappy

either one you like.

3. Jul 16, 2007

### Ry122

would it be ok to graph the torque on the y-axis?
If not at what length should i measure the force from on the lever arm?

4. Jul 16, 2007

### HallsofIvy

If you are going to get a function of the angle and then integrate, it would be simpler to use radians rather than angles. (The integral formula for a trig function in terms of degrees is more complicated than if it is in terms of radians.)

As for measuring the force, I would recommend attaching the scale to the cross arm of the mousetrap.

5. Jul 16, 2007

### Ry122

I've already graphed it using degrees. I just found the definite integral of the function. The stored energy was 100J
Was I supposed to do it some other way?

6. Jul 16, 2007

### olgranpappy

do it? do what? you have proposed this project for yourself, apparently. so the only person telling you what to do is yourself.