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Name __________________________________ Date ___________ Period _______

Simple Harmonic Motion Research Activity Set

Respond to all questions in full sentences.
Hookes Law
Visit (user = physics, password = pride). Read all the slides then respond to the questions below. 1. What type of relationship exists between the force on a spring and its stretch?

2. If I increase the force by a factor of 4, how much will the stretch increase?

3. What does k represent? What are its units?

4. What are the limits of Hookes Law?

5. Research Hookes Law on other Internet sites. What equation is most often given?

6. Why is there a negative sign in these?

7. What is meant by relaxed length?

Elastic Potential Energy

8. Research this topic on the Internet. What is the equation for the elastic potential energy?

9. What is the equilibrium position?

10. How much energy is stored in a spring in its equilibrium position?

11. If a spring with a spring constant of 500 N/m is compressed by 0.3 m, how much energy is stored?

12. A 1.5 kg mass is attached to the free end of the spring. If the spring is released, what is the velocity of mass as it passes through the equilibrium position? (Hint: Into what type of energy will the elastic potential energy be converted?)

Simple Harmonic Motion

13. In the table below write definitions for the key terms and indicate the source of your information. Give the name of the website and the full URL. Key Term Simple Harmonic Motion Definition Source







Restoring Force


Simple Pendulums
14. What is the equation for the period of a simple pendulum? Include a definition of each variable.

15. What are the limitations of this equation?

16. Where is a simple pendulums equilibrium position?

17. A 340 gram can of SPAM is suspended from a 1.75 m long string. What is the period of oscillation of the SPAM pendulum? What is the frequency?

18. The can is raised 10 cm higher from the ground than the equilibrium position and released. How much gravitational potential energy is in the system?

19. How fast is it moving at the equilibrium position? (Hint: What happens to the gravitational potential energy?)

Spring Pendulums
20. What is the equation for the period of a spring pendulum? Include a definition of each variable.

21. What are the limitations of this equation?

22. Where is a spring pendulums equilibrium position?

23. The same 340 g SPAM is glued to a stiff spring of 1,000 N/n is pushed down from its equilibrium position and released. What is the period of vibration of this system? What is frequency?

Wave Anatomy
24. Research the parts of a wave by visiting at least 3 websites. List the sites below. 1.



25. Make a diagram of a wave and label the following parts: Wavelength, amplitude, crest, peak, trough, and valley.

Comparison of SHM and Waves

Visit the website and start the applet. 26. As the applet runs, observe and compare the heights of the black dot on the circle and the blue mass on the spring. Describe this below.

27. Wave shape results when these heights are plotted on a graph against time?

Visit the website and set it as follows BEFORE running it: Set Damping to zero, select No End, and select Oscillate. 28. Run the simulation. What shape does the rotating wheel and vertical rod create on the string?

29. What happens to the wave length if you increase the frequency of the wheel?