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Homework Help: Lab Related Question

  1. Jun 19, 2007 #1

    We have been working on a lab that dealt with oscillations and simple harmonic motion. We attached two springs to an air cart, placed it on an air track, and released a distance of 10cm from the equilibirum point. To investigate the relationship between mass and the period, we added 50 g masses to the cart and performed various trials and timed the period.

    We then were instructed to graph the m vs T^2 with m being the total mass and T^2 being the time of the period squared. My question is, what does the slope of this line represent. The line increases linerly, and i believe that the relevant equation is
    T of period = 2pi SwRt(m/k)....or is it k/m...i cant remember right now as I am at work...

    but anyways...what could the slope of the line represent....i first thought it might be the spring constant...but I do not belive that is correct anymore...

    any ideas would be greatly appreciated
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2007 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Remember the equation of a straight line y = ax + b, where m is the gradient or the slope. If y = m and x = T2 then what is a?

    Hint: Try rearranging your period equation.
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