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Why's Applied Force Plotted On Vertical Axis?

  1. Mar 8, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Explain why applied force is plotted on the vertical axis of the graph even though it is the independent variable in a Hooke's Law experiment (involving a mass being attached to the spring)

    2. Relevant equations

    Fx = kx

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Maybe it's because the equation Fx = kx is in the form of y=x where Fx is the y and the k value is the slope.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2007 #2
    You'd have to give more background or information. I am not even used to force being graphed, except for an impulse.
  4. Mar 8, 2007 #3
    Force is the dependent variable. Hookes law is for the spring. Sure if you change the amount of force you apply the displacement changes, but thats not the point. The further the displacement, the more the spring pulls back. This is the reason for the negative sign. With this graph setup, you can divide F/x to find the spring constant and multiply F*x to find the work done
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