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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


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    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


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    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


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