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Simple Finding Spring Constant

  1. Nov 24, 2008 #1
    Well i remember doing this in physics class like 4 years ago, and it slipped my mind.

    I basically am doing a project of taking like 20+ springs and comparing there spring constants.

    Am all of this will be in a lab. And if i remember correctly k=(newtons)/ meter

    i know this is probably wrong, but i can get my hands on a digital force gauge and any building materials.

    can someone please point me in the right direction.

    BTW i am planing on getting my doctorate in the physics field i just love it.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 24, 2008 #2


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    Gold Member

    The unit of the spring constant is indeed N/m as you pointed.
    If your lab consists only by comparing the spring constants then it's easy. All you need are the springs, a single mass and a ruler. Not even a single calculator.
    Put the springs in a vertical position and plug the mass at the bottom of the springs. Measure how much the springs expends. The one that expends the most has the smallest spring constant and the one that expends the less has the biggest spring constant.
    However if you want to calculate their constants, it's another story.
  4. Nov 24, 2008 #3
    i do want an accurate calculation. with a number.

    each spring will only move a couple centimeters. so if k=n/m would i just divide the newtons by the fraction of the centimeters/meter
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  5. Nov 24, 2008 #4

  6. Nov 24, 2008 #5
    please explain your acronyms ?

    also i was planing on using a digital force gauge, and push the spring a set distance, and use the force it took to get to that distance as an accurate measurement?
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  7. Nov 25, 2008 #6
    Surely uou can find explanations on line!!!there you will get a more complete description..good practice if you really plan on studying physics....
    if you studied this four years and and can't remember after seeing the formulas I'd suggest you rethink your direction.
  8. Nov 25, 2008 #7
    4 years ago, please read the original post. I was actually a freshman in a senior class. And i was the only one to get a perfect score on our two finals. I am a smart person just cant remember cause it was 4 years ago

    spring constant=(mass)(gravity)/ x

    what is x??
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  9. Nov 25, 2008 #8
    x is the distance that the spring has been stretched or compressed away from the equilibrium position, which is the position where the spring would naturally come to rest (usually in meters),

  10. Nov 25, 2008 #9

    Thank you! For explaining

    Also using this method i wouldn't need a force gauge correct?
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