HARMONIC MOTION
Objective
To measure the force constant of a spring, and the period of oscillation for
differing masses, and verify the theoretical result
Equipment
timer, spring, weights and weight hanger, stand, pendulum clamp, 2meter stick
Introduction
A spring in its relaxed state is not being compressed or stretched. If the spring is subjected to a
force that displaces it from its relaxed state, the spring will exert a force to oppose that
displacement. If it is compressed, it will push back. If stretched, it will pull back. The force exerted
by the spring is referred to as the “restoring force”. The restoring force is proportional to the
degree of displacement and is in the opposite direction of the displacement. The proportionality
constant, k, is called the force constant. This relationship is known as Hooke’s Law and is shown
by the equation
F= kx
(1)
where F is the force being exerted on the spring and x is the extension of the spring beyond its
equilibrium point.
A mass suspended from a spring and set into motion will oscillate undergoing simple harmonic
motion.
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 Spring '11
 Pickett
 Force, Mass, mks, 5 cm, 50gram, 100gram

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