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Why does the spring constant go down after a specific mass?

  1. Jun 8, 2014 #1
    I have been conducting a lab to find the force of a spring by calculating the oscillatory motion of the period. Each time i added a mass, i gained a higher spring constant, but on the 250g i ended up losing spring constant. I was wondering if anyone know why, or if i have done something wrong? The thumbnail i posted will have a better description of what i am trying to say.
     

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  3. Jun 8, 2014 #2

    hilbert2

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    That's just because in practice, real-life springs behave nonlinearly (don't perfectly obey Hooke's law). In other words, the spring potential energy is not just ##V=\frac{1}{2}k(x-x_0)^2## but also contains higher order terms in ##(x-x_0)##. Hooke's law works well only for small displacements.
     
  4. Jun 8, 2014 #3
    So for this instance on my lab report, should i record down because it doesn't perfectly obey hooke's law?
     
  5. Jun 8, 2014 #4

    hilbert2

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    Yes, that's what I would write in the report if I were you.
     
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