Physics 141, Fall 2016.

Department of Physics and Astronomy | University of Rochester
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Laboratory 4, Measuring k.

In this laboratory you will conduct two experiments to measure the spring constant k of a spring. The setup to be used is shown in the following Figure.

The following two techniques should be used to determine k:

  • Static technique: measure the length of the spring as function of the force exerted on it.
  • Harmonic technique: measure the period of the harmonic motion that the system carries out after is has been displaced from its equilibrium position.
Think about the following issues:
  • The forces acting on the cart
  • How do you obtain k from static measurements and harmonic measurements?
  • Where do you put the photogate (you can move it during the experiment)?
  • How do you determine the errors in k?

Make sure you do a prelimenary analysis of your data during the lab so that you can catch any mistakes before leaving. You will need to design your own apporach to the determination of the errors in your measurements. The approach you use will influence the way you carry out your experiment. In your lab report you will need to compare the two different values of k obtained using these different techniques. Are they consistent? What is your best estimate of k?

 

The lab report for Experiment # 4 is due on Wednesday November 9, 2015 at 12 pm. Note: lab report # 4 will carry a weight that is twice as large as the weight of report # 3.

Quick links:

  • Experiment setup:

Last updated on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:58

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