Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Graphing a rotational spring's constant

  1. Jul 16, 2007 #1
    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. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    either one you like.
  4. Jul 16, 2007 #3
    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?
  5. Jul 16, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    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.
  6. Jul 16, 2007 #5
    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?
  7. Jul 16, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    do it? do what? you have proposed this project for yourself, apparently. so the only person telling you what to do is yourself.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Graphing a rotational spring's constant
  1. Spring constant (Replies: 3)

  2. Spring Constant! (Replies: 8)