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MASS ON SPRING

Summative Design

Practical

Titus John

SACE REG NO. 757278H

GROUP MEMBER: JITHIN JAMES

EXPERIMENT CONDUCTED: 14/05/2015

DUE DATE: 21/05/2015

WORD COUNT: 2625

Abstract

Two experiments were performed in order to confirm the relationship of the period of

oscillation of a spring executing simple harmonic motion. The spring constant was determined

by finding the slope of the graph drawn by measuring the extension when subjected to mass.

The relationship of the oscillation was then experimented by measuring the period of the

mass hung on the spring and setting it into a vertical oscillation. Resulting values of 1.25N/m

and 1.30N/m showed the limits of accuracy in proving Robert Hookes Law in this experiment.

Introduction

The following practical is an investigation of the period of vertical oscillation of a mass

attached to a light spring. Through experimental techniques, theoretical expression for the

period of oscillation will be tested and its relationship will be confirmed.

The spring has been a wonder in the field of engineering with many different extensive

applications. The understanding of such mechanics meant that scientists had to understand

the relationship between its elasticity, force, period of oscillation etc One such scientist was

the 17th century British Physicist, Robert Hooke and his law of simple motion.

Hookes principle stated that the force needed to extend or compress a string by a distance

is proportional to that distance

( Horibe, S n.d.). He sought to find a relationship

between this force and the elasticity and stated this law in the year 1660. It was later

published in 1678 which stated that extension of spring is proportional to the force.

The motion of the mass on the spring when subject to elastic force is justified by Hookes law,

known as the simple harmonic motion. It was understood that there was a restoring force

acting on the spring which brings it back to its initial position, causing it to oscillate up and

down (Simple Harmonic Motion 2015).

In the procedure of this experiment, the spring constant will be calculated and used in

confirming the period of oscillation of the mass attached to the string (PART 1). Therefore,

confirming the formula for Period T in simple harmonic motion (PART 2)

Aim

To confirm the theoretical relationship between the period and the mass on a spring executing

a simple harmonic motion.

Hypothesis

There will be a direct proportionality in which, if the weight of the suspended mass increases

the period of oscillation will increase respectively.

Hookes law to calculate the spring constant can be mathematically expressed as:

F=kx

Here, F is the force applied to the string, x is the extension of the string and -k being the

string constant. Hookes law was the first example to explain the elastic property of the string

with its ability to return to its normal shape after stretching it with a restoring force. This

restoring force, with the help of Hookes law can be represented as F in the equation above.

The equation shows the direct proportionality between the spring force and its extension due

to the mass. Hence, when the two parameters are graphed they should pass through the

origin. This constant proportionality is the gradient of the graph and is called the spring

constant, k, which is seen in the equation above.

When the mass m suspends from the spring and is allowed to reach equilibrium, it can be

understood according to Newtons Second Law that the magnitude of the spring force is the

weight of the body as expressed as:

F=ma

The restoring force of the spring is directly proportional to the extension of the spring and

hence periodically oscillates in a simple harmonic motion. When the oscillating mass

experiences a force that is proportional to its displacement (i.e. extension of the spring) in the

opposite direction it is know that the mass is executing simple harmonic motion. Since this

motion is periodic, the time required for the mass to complete a single oscillation is shown as

period T.

Newtons Second Law to find the force acting on an object can be substituted onto Hookes

Law to get the following,

'

It is important to understand the angular frequency of a rotation, the scalar measure for the

rate of change of any waveform. In this case, the oscillation of the mass on a spring. When

the object attached to the spring oscillates, it can be assumed that the spring will execute

simple harmonic motion with an angular frequency expressed as:

k

m

This can be substituted to the angular frequency formula which shows the rate of change of

an oscillating object (Simple Harmonic Motion 2015) and therefore can be expressed as the

following:

2

( Angular Frequency Formula)

T

T =2

T =2

m

k

The mass m is attached to the spring with a spring constant k. The above equation will

be tested through the practical and will be confirmed through the results collected.

Procedure

Apparatus/Material

1)

2)

3)

4)

5)

Spring

Retort Stand

Different amounts of mass

Mass Hanger

Meter Ruler

6) Stopwatch

7) Alligator Clip

8) H-Clamp

Independent

The independent variable is the Force (N) acting on the suspended mass causing the

extension of the spring

Dependent

Constant

Independent

The independent variable is the suspended mass on the hanger attached to the spring

Dependent

The dependent variable is the Period of Oscillation for the spring executing simple harmonic

motion

Constant

OHSW

Attached generic pro-forma

Line Diagram

Author)

Author)

1) The spring was hung on a retort stand which was attached to the table using an HClamp. The spring was attached to the mass hanger using an alligator clip.

2) 50grams of mass was added to the mass hanger and progressively, 10grams of mass

was added until the point where if more mass was added, the spring would extend.

This is the zero extension point

3) Ignoring the weight added in step 2, 50grams of mass was added to the hanger and the

extension of the spring was recorded using a ruler

4) For each addition of mass (up to 300g) added to the mass hanger, the extension of the

spring was recorded.

1) The spring was hung on a retort stand and was attached to a mass hanger.

2) About 300g of mass was added to the bottom of the string on a mass hanger until it

began oscillating vertically in a regular way. [This is the first (starting) value used to

record the period of oscillation]

3) The mass was drawn downwards and released allowing it to oscillate and execute

simple harmonic motion

4) The period of the oscillation was measured by recording the time taken for the mass to

oscillate 15 times.

5) Steps 3 and 4 were repeated with more mass (Adding 50grams progressively) until

sufficient data points were gathered to graph the results.

Results Part 1 Finding the Spring Constant (k)

Table 1 Raw measurements and Calculated Values (PART 1)

Mass

(M)

(g) (x10^2)

0.500

1.00

1.50

2.00

2.50

3.00

(kg)

0.050

0.100

0.150

0.200

0.250

0.300

Force

(F)

(N)

0.490

0.980

1.47

1.96

2.45

2.94

Trial 1

1.00

3.20

5.30

7.20

9.70

11.7

Extension of Spring

Trial 2

Trial 3

(cm)

1.30

1.20

3.20

3.40

5.20

5.30

7.50

7.50

9.40

9.60

11.8

11.2

Table 2 Raw measurements and Calculated Values (PART 2)

MASS

TRIAL 1

(M)

(g) (x10^2)

3.00

3.50

4.00

4.50

5.00

5.50

(kg)

0.300

0.350

0.400

0.450

0.500

0.550

(M^1/2)

(kg^1/2)

0.548

0.592

0.632

0.671

0.707

0.742

10.3

11.8

12.4

13.3

13.9

14.3

PERIOD OF OSCILLATION

Time after 15 Oscillation

TRIAL 2

TRIAL 3

AVERAG

Time

(s)

10.9

10.8

10.7

11.5

11.6

11.6

12.3

12.2

12.3

13.1

12.9

13.1

13.8

13.4

13.7

14.2

14.5

14.3

Sample Calculations:

Average Extension of

Spring

Average

Oscillation

1.00+1.30+ 1.20

=1.17 cm

3

Force on Spring

from the hanging

mass

Period

10.3+10.9+10.8

10.7

=10.7 s

=0.71 s

3

15

F=mg

F=0.050 9.8

1.17

=0.012 m

100

0.490 N

Rounded

(3 s . f .)

3.500

3.000

2.500

2.000

Force (N)

1.500

1.000

0.500

0.000

0.000

0.020

0.040

0.060

0.080

0.100

0.120

0.140

1.20

1.00

0.80

Period (s)

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00

0.250

0.300

0.350

0.400

0.450

0.500

0.550

0.600

Mass (kg)

1.20

1.00

0.80

Period (s)

R = 1

0.60

0.40

0.20

0.00

0.500

0.550

0.600

0.650

0.700

0.750

0.800

Analysis

Hookes Law states that the extension of spring is proportional to the force. Part 1 of the

experiment has proven this law as seen in Graph 1. A linear dependency was distinguished

between the force and the extension of the spring. Graph 2 shows a possible parabolic trend

and is not a straight line and therefore suggested that a graph of Period and the Root of Mass

might produce a straight line through the origin. This relationship is graphed in Graph 3

which shows a linear proportionality between the Root of Mass and the period of oscillation.

Therefore, Root of Mass

Period.

The relationship provides a mathematical expression between the Root of Mass and Period.

Using , y=mx+ c

The expression can be written as the formula for the period of oscillation,

( 2k ) m

T=

Here,

2

k

( )

is the theoretical slope which can be compared with the slope found in Graph

3. Using the value for k (the slope of Graph 1) to solve the theoretical slope, the percent

error was calculated.

( 2k )

2

( 23.48

)

m=1.30 N m1 (3 sf )

The slope of Graph 3 is 1.25, therefore the percentage error is:

percent error=

100

(true value)

( 1.25 ) (1.30)

100

( 1.30)

The experiment was a success in supporting the aim of the practical, to confirm the

relationship between the period and the mass on a spring executing a simple harmonic

motion. In Part 1, the spring constant was calculated by the means of adding 50g mass on a

hanger attached to the string. In this configuration, two forces acted on the mass,

gravitational force (F) and the springs elastic restoring force (x) as stated by Robert Hooke.

The data was graphed and the slope calculated in Graph 1 was the spring constant (k). Part 2

of the experiment dealt with the confirmation of the equation used to find the period of the

mass attached to the string executing simple harmonic motion. Graph 3 portrayed the

relationship between the Period and the root of mass and the percent error of 3.84% was

calculated. This provided insight that the results were gathered as accurate as possible,

minimising any experimental errors.

Graph 1 showed a linear relationship, confirming Hookes Law that the Force is proportional

to the Extension of the spring. Accordingly for Part 2 of the experiment, Graph 2 showed no

relationship as there was no enough information to back it up, due to its possible parabolic

relationship, a second graph was constructed as seen in Graph 3 which showed a linear

relationship between the Period and Root of Mass. Thus being consistent and satisfying

according to Hookes Law. The line of best fit goes near/through the origin portraying a direct

proportionality between the two parameters.

Since the period of oscillation was measured using a stopwatch, the uncertainty due to

reaction time existed and had an effect on the results. This could be reduced by the use of a

Photogate that precisely measures the period of oscillation and sends the data back to a

computer. The Photogate would increase the accuracy of the results used to analyse and

expose any random error.

Experimental Errors

A source of error in the experiment is the reaction time for calculating the period.

Although the speed of the oscillation was not extremely fast uncertainty existed

especially when lesser mass was used. Due to the care taken by measuring 15

oscillations and then calculating the period, the cause of random error was significantly

reduced. Averaging the results from 3 trials also helped in reducing the effects of this

error (Table 2)

Part 1 of the experiment included a procedure where the certain amount of mass had to

be added until the point where if more mass is added, the spring begins to extend.

Adding just above or just little poses a systematic error that could further change the

accuracy of the calculation of spring constant found in Graph 1. This is also evident in

Graph 1 as the points dont go through the origin in a straight line as they should.

The common random error of parallax was vital in this practical. The only measuring

device to collect the data for the extension of the spring was the use of a meter ruler.

The location of the change in extension was relative to the end of the spring, due to the

location of the meter ruler it was necessary to view it in a slight angle and thus could

have posed varied results. Although the effect of this error was minimalized by

averaging the findings (Table 1) and reduced any large impact on the uncertainty for

the value k (constant) being calculated.

What happens as the spring is released at any point compared to a constant

distance?

The period of the oscillating mass vertically only depends on the spring constant and the

mass attached to the spring. Amplitude (distance at which the spring is released), within

experimental uncertainty, does not affect the period. The spring was released at 2cm and the

period was calculated to be the same. This was done for Trial 1 and 2 for Part 2 of the

experiment as seen in Table 2. With Trial 3, the mass was released randomly at different

distances and the period stayed consistent for each mass as evidently noticed in Table 2. A

key point had been observed during this test about simple harmonic motion. The speed of the

oscillation had increased as the distance the mass had to travel from its equilibrium increased

to keep the oscillation constant throughout. It is also noted that it isnt a parameter in the

formula based on Hookes law to calculate the period of oscillation. Therefore, looking at the

results in this practical and with the mathematical expression, it can be said that the

amplitude (i.e. distance at which the spring is released) does not affect the period of

oscillation.

What effect does overstretching the spring have in the practical?

and

The spring that isnt overstretched would have a large gradient

when compared to a stretched spring (Figure 3) leading onto incorrect results

therefore having varied periods of oscillation

The

to distort due to the fact that it has exceeded its

elastic limit and therefore would affects the results as stated above

Figure 3 Illustration of 2 types of stretched

spring

Conclusion

The aim of the practical was to confirm the theoretical relationship between the period and

the mass on a spring executing a simple harmonic motion. Analysing the results showed a

direct proportionality between the Period and the Root of Mass. From the experiment, the

slope of this graph was 1.25, a 0.05 difference from the theoretical value calculated. The two

results were close with a percent error of only 3.58. These results were satisfying which

experimentally confirmed the formula for the period T. Hence, the hypothesis was

supported which stated: There will be a direct proportionality in which, if the weight of the

suspended mass increases the period of oscillation will increase respectively

References

1) Horibe, S n.d., Rober Hooke, Hooke's Law, University of Minnesota, accessed 18 May

2015, https://www1.umn.edu/ships/modules/phys/hooke/hooke.htm

2) Nave, R n.d., Simple Harmonic Motion, Illustration, Hyper Physics, accessed 21 May

2015, http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/soushm.html

3) Simple Harmonic Motion 2015, University of Salford, Manchester, accessed 16 May

2015, http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/feschools/waves/shm.php

Acknowledgements

Doug Medwell Providing good insight on the Practical

Beta James (Group Member) For helping with the practical setup and data collection

Rocco For supplying the practical materials and apparatus to conduct the practical

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