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Simple Harmonic Motions


Hookes Law: (F=kL)

Frequency (f)in Hz =1/2*
Period (T) in seconds = 2*
What Is k??

k is the springs constant. A higher k means the spring

is less flexible or springy. This will give a low L
when attaching a mass

A low constant means that it is easier to flex, or more

springy! This kind of spring will allow for more L when
putting a mass on it.

Why would the knowledge of constant matter from an

engineering perspective?
Quick Practice

With a partner, practice finding spring

constants with one of the springs above you.
Use a lighter mass and manipulate hookes
law to figure out the constant of your spring.
As a class
We can model a rock
climbing rope (dynamic)
as a spring. If a rock
climber weighing 68kg
is only supported by the
rope, and goes 30cm
below the equilibrium,
what is the constant of
the rope? What would
happen if the constant
was too high or too low?
f and T

Define period and frequency of a spring

How can we model this on a graph of
position vs. time
More practice

Lets now apply these equations. First,

calculate your frequencies of your spring
using the constant you found earlier and the
equations given.

QUESTION: Will the frequency be different

depending how much you pull down?
Now Test It!

Use a stopwatch and count how many

periods the spring goes through in 10
seconds, then find out actual frequency and

Test if it has a different frequency and period

given pulling it down slightly lower!
Applying our knowledge

You and your 3 closest friends get in your car for lunch. You all
weigh a combined weight of 272kg. When you all sit in your car,
the total displacement of the springs in each wheel is 30cm. Find
the constant of the springs in your car.

Next: after you have found k, calculate the oscillation frequency

and period of your car when you hit a small bump in the road.
Relationships between
pendulums and springs

The way we measure frequency and period is

the same formula, just with different

T= 2* L/g
F=1/2* g/L
Lets model this as a function of time and
position as well. You can treat anything that
has this kind of pattern as simple harmonic
motion, and you can use it to find frequency
and period.
What are some other things oscillate in a
way that we could model that way?

If you and your friend 68kg were at a rope

swing and wanted to see who would be able
to swing over the lake and come back to the
same spot, who would win?

Is there any way you could get an advantage

in the previous question?

Calculate the time it would take you to

complete one period on the rope swing if it
were 12m long, and had a mass of 68kg.
Then calculate the frequency at which you
would swing.
Ticket out the door