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Help me with this phy experiment thingo!

  1. Aug 30, 2005 #1
    how would u design an experiment to investigate energy transfer?
    And, how would you find out how it varies according to a variable?

    I'm quite confused bout this and i need some help on how to even start! :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2005 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    The question is extremely vague, and so gives you the freedom to design virtually any energy transfer experiment you choose. However, I would recommend you ask your teacher what the "it" in the second line refers to.

    Is this exactly how the question is worded ? If not, provide the actual wording. If it is, then sadly, it is a very poorly written question (especially for a college level question).
  4. Aug 31, 2005 #3


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    you could investigate the energy conversions involved in a mass oscillating on a spring. There are three types of energy involved, K, the kinetic energy of the mass, Us the potential energy of the spring and Ug the gravitational potential energy of the mass. By using the SHM equations and measuring the spring constant of the spring you can calculate K at say five points during it's oscillation, the midpoint, the end points and at two other displacements on both sides of the equilibrium. Plot these points as a function of the displacement and draw a smooth graph through them. Also calculate and draw such graphs for the other two forms of potential energy - maybe by taking the zero potential energy at the equilibrium position of the mass. By adding the three graphs up you should then get a constant energy graph. E = K + Us + Ug proving that energy is conserved in this system. In this system energy is transferred from one part to the other and back again. Also it varies according to the displacement of the mass w.r.t. the equilibrium position.
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