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E205: HOOKES LAW

FRISNEDI, Nadine T.

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this experiment is to study the
elastic properties of the spring. In physics,
Elasticity is the ability of solid materials to return
to its original shape, length or size when the
deforming forces are removed.
Another purpose of this experiment is to
determine the force constant of the spring. The
force constant is the factor or the characteristic of
the spring. I can be simply defined as the stiffness
of the spring. The experiment can help the
students understand how the displacement or
elongation and the deforming force of the spring
is important in determining its force constant.
The third objective of this experiment is to
investigate the relationship between deforming
force and amount the spring stretches. Hookes
Law is a principle in physics that states that the
deforming force needed to compress or extend a
spring is directly proportional to the elongation of
the body. The experiment will show the students
the proof of this relationship.
The last objective is to determine the total work
done on the spring when it is being stretch. The
experiment will also show how the Force constant
is needed in determining the Work done on the
spring.
Through the experiment, the students will be able
to gain more knowledge and appreciation about
the concepts of elasticity and Hookes Law with the
use of spring. At the end of the experiment, it is
expected for students to learn how to determine
the Force constant of a spring and to compute for
the Work done on the spring. The students will not
just learn how to compute for the Force constant

of the spring using the given formulas but also by


getting the slope of the line based from the graph
that will be made using the gathered data.
The experiment will help the students be able to
understand the applications of the given
laboratory formulas in solving problems involving
Physics and will surely be helpful in studying other
concepts about it. Another thing about this
experiment is that it is very easy to conduct and it
is not time consuming, thus students will enjoy
doing it.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Before the experiment was actually performed,
the students were given guidelines first. The group
came up with a strategy for conducting this
experiment which is to make sure that the
procedures were being followed correctly while
making sure that the equipment used are handled
carefully especially the springs since they are
sensitive and really important in order to perform
the experiment properly. It was also instructed to
us that the amount weighs to be used should be
placed cautiously and not letting the weights hang
on it for a long time so that the spring wont be
stretched so much.
The materials for these experiment are the
following: a set of Hookes Law Apparatus which is
composed of support rod, support arm, notch,
clamp and transparent scale plate and stretch
indicator, a 4N/m spring, an 8N/m spring, a mass
hanger and a set of weights. The springs and the
Hookes Law Apparatus were the main equipment
that was used in performing the experiment.

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Figure 1. The materials and equipment used in the experiment.

The equipment was assembled first. The 4N/m


spring was hanged to the notch on the support
arm of the support rod. After that, the stretch
indicator was connected to the bottom of the
spring. The clamp was adjusted so that the
indicator reading was exactly at zero. The top of
the stretch indicator was used as the base for
measuring. Lastly, the mass hanger was
connected to the bottom of the stretch indicator.

For the second part of the experiment, it is focused


in the determination of the force constant of the
spring. The spring that was used on this part has
an ideal force constant of 4N/m. This part requires
a lot of equipment care. The students were
instructed not to stretch the spring too much. It is
simply because the spring is small and sensitive.
The elasticity of the spring may change or become
permanently damaged. A 20g mass was placed on
the mass hanger. The displacement done by the
stretched spring that was indicated by the stretch
indicator was recorded and a photo was taken to
have an accurate data. The weight of pan must not
be included in the computations.

Figure 4. A 20g weight was placed on the hanger connected to


the 4N/m spring.

After that the force constant of the spring was


computed using the using the equation of Hookes
Law which is = .The procedures were repeated
for another three trials however the added weights
were increased by 10 grams per trial.
Figure 2. Setting up the Hookes Law apparatus.

Figure 3. Making sure that the stretch indicator is aligned to


zero.

Figure 5. Getting the displacement of the 4N/m spring for the


third trial.
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After doing all the four trials, the average value of


the force constant was computed. Using MS Excel,
the force vs displacement graph was plotted. Also,
with the use of the slope function of MS Excel, the
slope of the line of the graph was computed.
Another way is when the line graph has been
plotted, choose from the settings that will show
the equation of the graph that looks like:
y=mx+b, where m is the slope. After that, the
percent difference was calculated with the slope as
the first value and the average force constant as
the second value. All the data was put to Table1A.
All of the procedures done for the first spring were
repeated using a different spring, which is the
8N/m spring. All of the data gathered for the
second spring were put to Table 1B.

Figure 8. A 50g weight was placed on the hanger connected to


the 8N/m spring.

For the last part of the experiment, the students


focused in the determination of the Work done on
the spring. The data from Table 1A and Table 1B
were used for this part of the experiment. The
work done in stretching the spring was computed
1

using the equation, = ( 2 2 ), where k is


2

the

Figure 6. Using the 8N/m spring, the stretch indicator was


made sure to be at zero.

average

force

constant,

being

the

displacement of trial 4 in the first part of the


experiment and = 0. The area under the graph
of force vs displacement was determined by
getting the linear regression model of the graph
using the stat mode function in the calculator. MS
Excel can also be used in determining the equation
of the line. After plotting the line graph, choose
the setting that will show the equation of the
graph. After getting this equation, integration was
applied with the limits from 0 to the amount of
displacement from trial 4. Shortly after, the total
work done and the area under the graph of force
vs. displacement were compared by getting the
percent difference.
OBSERVATIONS AND RESULTS

Figure 7. Getting the displacement of the 8N/m spring for the


first trial.

In Table 1A and Table 1B, the mass was already


given. The force was computed by getting the
product of the mass and the acceleration due to
gravity on Earth, the displacement was
determined by getting the reading on the scale of
the indicator.
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The force constant was computed by using


Hookes Law which is: = , where F is the
deforming force, x is the displacement and k is the
force constant. The force was divided by the
displacement and its quotient is the force
constant. After that the average force constant
was determined. The force vs. Displacement graph
was plotted in Excel and the slop was computed
using the function in Excel. The percent difference
was determined by using the slope of the line and
the average force constant.

The graph shows the relationship between force


and displacement using the 4N/m spring. This
shows that force and displacement have directly
proportional relationship. The slope in the graph is
positive since it is increasing. The slope of the
graph was labelled as the accepted value of the
force constant and was then used in computing for
the percent difference.
Sample Computations:
Trial 1

Table 1A. Determining the Force Constant of


4N/m Spring.
Mass
(kg)

TRIAL
1

Force
(N)

0.02

0.196

X (m)

Force
Constant
(N/m)

0.037

Force:
=

= 0.02

5.2973

9.8
2

9.8
2

= 0.196
2

0.03

0.294

0.056

5.25

Force Constant:
=

0.04

0.392

0.074

5.2973

0.05

0.49

0.092

5.3261

Average
Slope of the Line
Percent Difference

5.2927 N/m
5.35
1.16%

=
=

0.196
0.037

= 5.2973 /
Average Force Constant:

The Force vs. Displacement graph for Table 1A:


1 + 2 + 3 + 4
4

5.2973 + 5.25 + 5.2973 + 5.3261
=
4
= 5.2927 /

=
GRAPH 1A: FORCE VS.
DISPLACEMENT
0.6

Force

0.5
0.4

y = 5.3542x - 0.0037

Percent Difference:

0.3
0.2

Slope of the Line = 5.35

0.1
0
0

0.02

0.04

0.06

Displacement

0.08

0.1

|1 2 |
+ 2
( 1
)
2
|5.35 5.2927|
% =
5.35 + 5.2927
(
)
2
% = 1.16%
% =

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Table 1B. Determining the Force Constant of


8N/m Spring.

TRIAL

Mass
(kg)

Force
(N)

X
(m)

Force
Constant
(N/m)

0.02

0.196

0.027

7.2593

0.03

0.294

0.04

0.04

0.392

0.053

7.3962

0.05

0.49

0.065

7.5385

Force Constant:
=
=
=

0.196
0.027

= 7.2593 /

Average
Slope of the Line
Percent Difference

7.3860 N/m
7.71
4.34%

The Force vs. Displacement graph for Table 1B:

GRAPH 1B: FORCE VS.


DISPLACEMENT
0.6

Force

9.8
2

= 0.196

7.3500

Average Force Constant:


1 + 2 + 3 + 4
4

7.2593 + 7.35 + 7.3962 + 7.5385
=
4
= 7.3860 /

Percent Difference:

y = 7.7137x - 0.0138

0.5

= 0.02

0.4

Slope of the Line = 7.71

0.3
0.2

|1 2 |
+ 2
( 1
)
2
|7.71 7.3860|
% =
7.71 + 7.3860
(
)
2
% = 4.34%
% =

0.1
0.0
0

0.02

0.04

0.06

0.08

Displacement

The graph shows the relationship between force


and displacement using the 8N/m spring. This
shows that force and displacement have directly
proportional relationship. The slope is also
increasing and is bigger compared to the slope of
the graph for Table 1A.
Sample Computations:

In Table 2, we were to find the Work done on


spring for this part. For this table, the preliminary
data came from Table 1A and Table 1B. The final
displacement was the displacement recorded for
the fourth trial of both springs. The force constant
to be used came from the average force constant
that was computed for both springs. The work
done in stretching the spring was computed using
1

the equation, = ( 2 2 ), where k is the


2

average force constant, being the displacement

Trial 1
=

9.8
2

of trial 4 in the first part of the experiment and


= 0.
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The area under the graph of force vs displacement


was determined by getting the linear regression
model of the graph using the stat mode function
in the calculator. MS Excel can also be used in
determining the equation of the line. After plotting
the line graph, choose the setting that will show
the equation of the graph. After getting this
equation, integration was applied with the limits
from 0 to the amount of displacement from trial 4.
Shortly after, the total work done and the area
under the graph of force vs. displacement were
compared by getting the percent difference. The
percent difference was calculated with the total
work done as the first value and the area under
the graph of force vs. displacement as the second
value.
Table 2. Determining the Work Done on the
Spring
TRIAL

final
displacement

average force
constant

Table 1A

0.092m

5.2927 N/m

Table 1B

0.065m

7.3860 N/m

TRIAL

work

area under F
vs. x graph

%
difference

Table
1A

0.0224 J

0.0222

0.89%

Table
1B

0.0156 J

0.0154

1.31%

Sample Computation for Table 2:


Trial: Table 1A
Work:
1
= ( 2 2 )
2
1 5.2927
= (
)(0.0922 02 )
2

= 0.0224

Equation of the graph: y = 5.3542x - 0.0037


0.092

(5.3542 0.0037)

=
0

= 0.0222
Percent Difference:
|1 2 |
+ 2
( 1
)
2
|0.0224 0.0222|
% =
0.0224 + 0.0222
(
)
2
% = 0.89%
% =

DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION


The elastic properties of the spring tells us that
there is a limit to which something can stretch to.
Staying within the limit, expectedly, it will return
to its original size as the elasticity does not
change. However, passing the limit, it will not turn
back to its normal size.
For the determination of force constant of the
spring, the formula that was derived from Hookes
Law provided us a definition that the extension of
a spring is in direct proportion with the load added
to it as long as this load does not exceed the elastic
limit. The data from Table 1A and 1B, shows us
that we have determined the force constant of
4N/m and 8N/m spring. The concept of Hookes
Law was used in this part. The force constant was
computed by using the equation: = , where F
is the deforming force, x is the displacement and
k is the force constant. The force was divided by
the displacement and its quotient is the force
constant.
Our data from both Table 1A and 1B shows us that
as the deforming force increases, the distance the
spring stretches also increases. This means that
force is directly proportional to the displacement
of the spring. In conclusion, I could say that the
first three objectives were then achieved from the
second part of the experiment.

Area under F vs. x graph:


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For the determination of work done on the spring,


the area of the graph (F vs. x) is nearly identical
to the total work done. This is because the
relationship gives the area, where the force F is
plotted as a function of distance. In the more
general case of a force which changes with
distance, the work may still be calculated as the
area under the curve.
In Table 2, we have determined the work done on
the spring. According to our data, the 4N/m spring
has a greater work done compared to the 8N/m
spring. Since the 4N/m spring has a lower force
constant, it is easier to stretch so if will have a
greater displacement than the 8N/m spring. Force
constant and displacement is also directly
proportional to work so as the force constant and
displacement increase, work also increase. The
area of the graph of Table 1A is greater than the
area in Table 1B. Since the total work done on the
spring was determined, our group have fulfilled
the last objective of the experiment.
The percent difference that we got in this
experiment were very low. We have 1.16% for
Table 1A and 4.34% for Table 2B. For Table 2 we
got a percent difference of 0.89% and 1.31%.
Since the experiment was easy to perform, there
was a lesser chance of committing errors. The
possible sources of error can be the inaccurate
measurement of the displacement of the spring
since we might tend to make assumptions when
the stretch indicator is not horizontally aligned.
In recommendation to the students who will be
doing the same experiment, doing a few sub-trials
can be helpful in verifying the measurements.
They should also wait for the spring and the
stretch indicator to stop moving and become when
getting the measurements. Taking clear photos of
the trials is also a good thing to do when in doubt
of the measurements.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT & REFERENCE


I would like to thank my groupmates for being so
cooperative,
initiative
and
relaxed
upon
conducting the experiment. I appreciate all of their
efforts since without their help, our experiment
will have a great chance of failure. I also thank
them for helping in making the Excel file that
served as our data sheet become presentable and
organized. I also thank our professor, Prof.
Ricardo F. De Leon, Jr. for guiding all throughout
the experiment. I thank him for instructing us on
how we should set up the materials and equipment
for our experiment. I also thank him for teaching
us how to make a proper graph of the data we
have and also for teaching us how to use the slope
function in MS Excel. I also would like to
acknowledge the lab assistants for reminding us
how to handle the materials and equipment and
telling us about the important things to remember
such as the weights to be added. Lastly, I would
like to thank my family for supporting me in my
studies as I pursue my degree in Mapa.
References:
General Physics 2 Laboratory Manual, Mapa
Institute of Technology, Manila: Department of
Physics
Walker, J., Halliday, D., & Resnick, R. (2014).
Principles of Physics. 10th Edition. 159-161.
Williams, M. (February 2015).
http://www.universetoday.com/55027/hookeslaw
/
Hookes Law (Retrieved August 2015).
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=
20081119031341AAVPAHl
Hookes Law (Retrieved August 2015).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooke%27s_law

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