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Homework Help: Ideal Spring and Real Spring Difference? (Hooke's Law)

  1. Mar 7, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    These relate to a Hooke's law lab involving springs.

    What are the differences between ideal springs and real springs.

    Also, does anyone know why applied force is plotted on the vertical axis of a graph while x (change in displacement from equilibrium) is plotted on the horizontal even though Fx is the independent variable?

    2. Relevant equations

    Fx= k x

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I know that ideal springs face no internal or external friction while real springs do but not much other than that.
    As for the second question, I'm stumped.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 7, 2007 #2
    Springs work the way they do because their material is within whats called a linear elastic region(the name should be self explanitory). Outside this region the spring is no longer linear.

    Real springs can strain harden, where the spring force goes up, or stain soften, where the spring force goes down, once your outside the elastic region.
  4. Mar 7, 2007 #3
    A real spring has mass.
  5. Mar 8, 2007 #4
    A real spring has mass? So an ideal spring doesn't have mass?
  6. Mar 8, 2007 #5
    Not usually.
  7. Mar 8, 2007 #6


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    Does the "area under the F(x)-vs-x graph" have any interesting interpretation ?
  8. Mar 8, 2007 #7
    I don't yet have the data tables graphed yet but I know that it's just a linear line so it doesn't have any interesting interpretation :-)
  9. Mar 8, 2007 #8


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    Well... looks like you have to read your textbook and do some more work. :-)
  10. Mar 8, 2007 #9
    A real spring can break
  11. Mar 8, 2007 #10
    Wish I could do that. The science books in Ontario (Canada) are so bad though. All it does for Hooke's law is give one paragraph with a few definitions and an example question. The internet doesn't help much either, it just returns a bunch of scholar's papers. Thanks for your help anyways.
  12. Apr 8, 2009 #11
    I'm doing this lab now and the exact same question has me stumped, has anyone thought of the solution yet and why? If so it would be greatly appreciated
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