Plab11 - Lab 11: Hookes Law, Springs, and the Harmonic...

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Lab 11: Hooke’s Law, Springs, and the Harmonic Oscillator. I. Hooke’s Law Suppose you have a relaxed, unstretched spring. If you stretch the spring by a small amount: Δ x small , the spring pulls back with a restoring force : F s If you stretch the spring by a larger amount : Δ x larger , the spring pulls back with a larger restoring force. So the further you pull a string from its relaxed position, the stronger will be its pull back. The amount of restoring force is directly propor- tional to the distance by which you stretch the spring: F s = k s Δ x This relation is called ”Hooke’s Law” . The constant of proportionality ( k s ) is called the spring constant of the spring. The spring con- stant is a measure of the stiFness of the spring and depends on the spring’s material and length. The larger the value of k s ; the stiFer the spring. 1
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II. How a Mass on a Spring became a Harmonic Oscillator . 1. A spring hangs from a gallows, relaxed and un-
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This note was uploaded on 10/19/2011 for the course PHY 2020 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at University of Florida.

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Plab11 - Lab 11: Hookes Law, Springs, and the Harmonic...

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