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Tutorial Lab # 2

January 30, 2012 Ian Ip 10011223 Section 5 Email: 0imhi@queensu

Lab partner: Blair Hanbury APSC100 Module 2

An experiment was designed and conducted to calculate and determine the spring constant of a given spring. A spring was hooked to a stand with measuring tape attached to determine the initial displacement with no mass (other than that of the spring) attached from the top. As mass increases with each trial, it is expected that the displacement from the top will increase. Results indicated that the spring was not ideal because the lighter mass did not cause the displacement to increase, indicating that the tension force on the spring was not overcome. Once the weight threshold exceeds the tension force, the results demonstrated a linear relationship between the addition of mass and the increase in displacement. The spring constant of this spring was determined to be 83 N/m. Despite the inaccuracy of the equipment used, the spring constant obtained was very accurate and errors all considered as random errors.

I verify that this formal report is my own individual work and has not been copied in whole or in part from another source (with the possible exception of equations, tables and/or diagrams from the experimental descriptions on the APSC100-2 website). Furthermore, I have not and will not lend this report (electronic or hardcopy) to any other student, either now or in the future. Signed:__________________________

1.0 Introduction
A mass carrying spring was attached to a stand with measuring tape taped to the side as shown in figure 1. The purposes of this experiment were: 1. To investigate the relationship between the weight and the vertical displacement of a spring 2. To determine the spring constant value for a particular spring using the relationship above.

The experiment was designed mainly to measure the spring constant of the particular spring by undertaking the application of Newtonian mechanics; most particularly in the aspect of Hookes law, Newtons second law and the equilibrium. There are two main ways to measure the spring constant of the spring, Hookes law and simple harmonic motion. Hookes law method was preferred over simple harmonic motion because measurements were taken when the spring was idle and in equilibrium. This increased the accuracy of the measurements taken whereas simple harmonic motion method measures the period of the spring (while the spring is in motion), which is less accurate. In addition, we do not have to assume the spring is massless in Hookes law because the vertical displacements (will be explained later) measurements are relative to the initial equilibrium point of the spring.
Figure 1: The general set up of the experiment

In this experiment, the following assumptions were made: 1. All given information and data are accurate. (ex. Given mass weights exactly as indicated on the mass) 2. The spring will be completely motionless and at equilibrium while the measurements are taken. 3. Irregularities in data due to the non-ideal spring, and negligible. (ex: Spring will not behave like spring until the tension on the coils are overcome by force of gravity) 4. Gravitational acceleration constant is exactly 9.81m/s2. (Only valid at sea level)

To calculate the spring constant of any given spring using Hookes law, an equation must be derived to relate the different variables associated. Starting with Newtons second law, the mass attached to the spring is influenced by two different forces. The two forces as shown on figure 2 are the force of gravity and the restoring force of the spring, better known as Hookes law. Since we know the two forces acting on mass M, we can substitute them into Newtons second law.

The two forces are the restorative force of the spring (Hookes law), subtracted by the force of gravity. K is the spring constant of the spring, negative sign in front is a reminder that the force is restorative
Figure 2: The free body diagram of the mass m attached to string

(Not actually part of the calculation) and y is the vertical displacement from the initial equilibrium

The force of gravity is the product of mass and the gravitational acceleration constant, 9.81m/s2. In this experiment, the weight will be expressed as and will not be broken down into mass and gravity to simplify the plot and the equation of the line of best fit. Newtons second law and the sum of forces will appear in the equation as such; As mentioned before, measurements are taken when the entire spring system (spring and mass) is motionless and at equilibrium. When an object is in equilibrium, the velocity is zero and the acceleration of the object will effectively also be zero.

Keep in mind that mg will now be expressed as one variable,

In this experiment, weight is your independent x variable and the vertical displacement y is your y variable. The equation will be rearranged into y=mx+b form.

From this, the spring constant can be found as the inverse of the slope of the plot Fg and y. For simplicity sake, the slope 1/k will be renamed as the variable n.

Based on the theoretical knowledge of Hookes law and the equation derived, the increase of weight will also lead to an increase in vertical displacement by the proportional spring constant k. The projected line of best fit on the plot is shown on figure 3.

After the slope is obtained, the spring constant can be found by rearranging the existing expression of the slope n

Therefore the spring constant can be found using the following expression

Figure 3: The predicted plot of vertical displacement and weight

2.0 Apparatus and Procedure

The apparatus used in this experiment are illustrated and labeled in figure 1. The spring was attached to the measuring tape taped stand. The initial displacement of the spring will be measured (from the top of the stand) and will be used as the reference point for the duration of the experiment. Mass will then be added onto the bottom of the spring. As a result, the spring stretched and demonstrated a vertical displacement from the initial point of reference. The new mass and the vertical displacement were recorded. This is repeated several times with different masses and yielded different vertical displacement for each. Initial measurements were made of the initial displacement of the bottom of the spring from the top of the stand (where the spring was attached). Varying masses on the spring was recorded and the respective vertical displacement from the top was measured and recorded. The vertical displacement, y as mentioned above is the differences of the vertical displacement from the top and the initial vertical displacement of the spring without any masses attached. The product of gravitational acceleration constant and the measured mass known as weight is the independent variable while the vertical displacement y is the dependent variable. To find the spring constant, the relation between weight and vertical displacement y was plotted. The spring constant of the spring was the inverse slope of the relationship. In the experiment, the masses were assumed to be fully accurate and the vertical displacement y was assumed to carry an uncertainty of 0.0005m (half of a millimetre since the measuring tape smallest unit is 1 mm).

3.0 Results and Analysis

The spring constant was calculated using the plot of weight and vertical displacement y. According to the derived equation in 2.0, it was determined that the spring constant is the inverse slope of the linear relation on the plot. Since this spring is not ideal, the points before the tension was overcome will be omitted from the analysis of the plot (and will be explained later in the discussion). The triangle points in figure 4 are when the weight could not exceed the tension force of the non-ideal spring, and therefore did not demonstrate any vertical displacement and can be neglected for the duration of the investigation. The standard error of the points used in the trend line (diamond points) was found to be 0.029692.
0.12 y = 0.0124x - 0.0498 0.1

0.08 Vertical Displacement (m)




0 0 -0.02 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

Weight (N)

Figure 4: Plot of the vertical displacement of the spring as a function of the force of gravity from the mass attached. Line of best fit are shown through the data points along with the equation of the line. The triangle points are from when the force of gravity could not exceed the tension force of the spring, irrelevant to the purpose of this lab.

It is clear from the data points that they fall closely along the line of best fit. From the equation of the line of best fit, the spring constant can be found using the inverse of the slope.

Residual Plot
0.002 Residuals 0.001 0 0 -0.001 5 Weight (N) 10 15

Based on the calculation done on the plot, the spring constant was determined to be 80.6 +/0.029692N/m from standard error calculation in excel and +/- 0.000756 from linear regression (more accurate). Further unit analysis demonstrated that the slope has the unit m/N and therefore, the inverse of the slope

will be N/m, the proper for spring constant.

Figure 5: The residual plot of vertical displacement vs. weight

To further support the accuracy of the experiment, residual plot of the trend

line was made on excel (refer to figure 5). The residual plot as shown in figure 5 show the data points evenly and closely distributed along the line of best fit, indicating the behaviour was linear as predicted by the derivation of the modified equation.

4.0 Discussion
The summary of numerical analysis from the experiment is shown in Table 1.

Statistical Analysis Graphical Analysis

Slope n .012 .0124

Spring constant k 83.3 80.6

Standard Error 0.029692 0.000756

Table 1: Summary table of the significant data from different methods of analysis

Overall, the similar results from statistical (plotting by hands) and graphical (computer) analysis show that the results are fairly constant and proven to be true. Since mass is taken to be completely accurate and g is a constant, the x values (weight) have no uncertainty, which is rare. An interesting feature in this experiment is the non-ideal nature of the spring and how it leads to the non-zero y-intercept. The equivalent y=mx+b equation of the plot can be expressed as Where Ti is the initial tension of the spring and the product of that and the slope (1/k) is the y intercept b.

The weight of over 4N is required to overcome the initial tension and for the spring to behave like a spring (and produce a reasonable slope required to find the sprig constant). This explained why the initial data points have similar vertical displacement, producing a horizontal line. Because of this, the initial points are ignored in the analysis. Once the tension is overcome, the spring begins to behave as expected in a linear but non horizontal manner. The measurements taken in the experiment were extremely accurate and this was a result of the Hooke's law method and taking the measurements when the object is idle.

5.0 Conclusion
In the experiment, the principles of Hookes law, Newtons second law and equilibrium were applied to determine the spring constant. Using measuring taped stand, spring and various masses, the experiment was used to determine the spring constant of a particular spring with great accuracy (with uncertainty of +/- 0.000756 obtained from linear regression). This experiment measured the vertical displacement of the spring with various masses attached from the initial equilibrium of the spring without mass. The results returned with a linear relation between weight and vertical displacement. From the linear equation established from the line of best fit, it was determined that the initial tension force of the spring 4.01 N must be overcome by the increase in weight in order for the spring to behave linear as it should. By taking the inverse of the slope, it was determined that the spring constant of the spring is 80.6 +/- 0.001 N/m.

6.0 Appendix
1) Data Recorded
Table 2: Basic Data

Weight (N) +/- 0 0.098 1.962 2.943 3.924 4.905 5.886 6.867 7.848 8.829 9.81 10.791 11.772

Vertical Displacement (m) +/- .0005 0.006 0.006 0.007 0.007 0.011 0.022 0.036 0.047 0.059 0.072 0.084 0.095

Initial Vertical Displacement for Spring 0.205 +/- 0.0005 m

Standard Error (Vertical Displacement) 0.031166

2) Error Calculation

Find the Error for intercept ( )

Linear Regression Data

SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R 0.999654 R Square 0.999308 Adjusted R Square 0.99917 Standard Error 0.000756 Observation s 7 ANOVA df Regression Residual Total 1 5 6 Coefficient s Intercept 4.905 -0.05 0.012378 SS 0.004129 2.86E-06 0.004131 Standard Error 0.001317 0.000146 MS 0.00412 9 5.71E07 F 7225 Significanc eF 4.27E-09

t Stat 37.9628 85

Pvalue Lower 95% 2.39E -07 -0.05339 4.27E -09 0.012004

Upper 95% 0.04661 0.01275 2

Lower 95.0% 0.05339 0.01200 4

Upper 95.0% 0.04661 0.01275 2


Observation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Predicted 0.011 0.022857 0.035 0.047143 0.059286 0.071429 0.083571 0.095714

Residuals -0.00086 0.001 -0.00014 -0.00029 0.000571 0.000429 -0.00071