In this experiment you will be exploring Hooke's Law through an online
Computer with internet connection and web browser.
Excel, Numbers, or other graphing software
PART - Introduction
In this part you will explore how the simulation works, and experimentally verify that
Hooke's law is accurately simulated by the program.
1. Open a new document in Word, Pages, or any other word processing program, and create
a new document. This will be your lab report. You may use any format you like, but
please be sure your name is on it!
2. Go to the site. You canuse the simulation there by clicking on the image (it has a
triangular play symbol like a video). If you prefer, you may download it by clicking the
download link just below the image.
3. The simulation has three parts, "Intro," "Systems," and "Energy." Start the Intro section. Play
around with the simulation on your own a bit. The controls are very easy.
4. With all of the boxes in the upper right checked, do this basic "experiment."
a Set the spring constant to a value of your choice between 300 and 700 N/m. Record your
settings in your lab report.
b Set the applied force to 6 different values. For each value, record the displacement (shown
in green) in your lab report.
c Use any other program to make a graph of your data. Copy and paste your graph into your
d Use tools in the program, or any other method you know to determine the slope of the
graph. How is the slope of your line related to the spring constant you set? Write a sentence
or two in your report under the graph answering this question.
Before continuing to the next part, be sure you know how to determine the spring constant
from this experiment!
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PART II - Multiple Spring Systems, 2
5. Now, move to the second part of the simulation, "Systems." (you can click an icon for it at
the bottom of the screen). Again, play around with the controls to get familiar.
With the simulation set for springs connected side-by-side, set the force constant for spring
one to any value less than 400 N/m, and the constant for spring 2 to be 1.5X whatever value
you chose for spring 1.
7. Make a prediction of what the combined spring constant of your two springs will be. Write
your prediction and a couple of sentences giving your reasoning for this prediction in your
8. Do the same experiment you did in part 1. That is, make 6 measurements of force and
displacement, and make the same graph you did before. Again, be sure to include all of your
settings in your report.
9. Determine the combined spring constant of your two springs. In your report, include the
value you found, as well as a discussion of how it compares to your prediction.
10. Repeat steps 5-9, but with the springs connected end-to end. Make all of the same entries in
your lab report.
11. In your lab report, write a few sentences of conclusions about how springs add up when
connected side-by-side and end-to-end.
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