Featured in PASCO’s Advanced Physics Teacher Guide

Advanced Physics Teacher Guide

(PS-2879C)

This manual features over 30 College Board curriculum and AP Physics exam inspired lab activities.

Periodic Motion Systems

Lab Summary

Use a force sensor to find the spring constant for an ideal spring, and then investigate how changing mass affects the period of oscillation for the mass and spring system.

Theory

Students conduct an experiment to find the spring constant for an ideal spring, and then investigate how changing mass affects the period of oscillation for the mass and spring system by:

  • Determining the spring constant of the provided spring by finding the slope of a force versus displacement graph.
  • Graphing a relationship between period T and mass m, and then linearizing it by processing the data.

Method

Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

  • Finding the spring constant of a provided spring by making a graph of force versus displacement and calculating the slope of that graph.
  • Comparing the period of oscillation for 5 different masses hanging from the spring and graphing the relationship between mass and period.
  • Linearizing this relationship by squaring the period and plotting those values versus the mass. The slope of the graph should equal the value (2/k), as derived from the equation for the period of an oscillating spring and mass system.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Force Sensor

(PS-2104)

Designed to measure both pulling and pushing forces. Uses range from collisions to tug-of-war.

Demonstration Spring Set

(ME-9866)

Four large springs ideal for Hooke's Law or Conservation of Energy demonstrations.

Base and Support Rod

(ME-9355)

The Large Base and Support Rod includes built-in leveling screws and an aluminum rod that is 12.7 mm (1/2 in.) in diameter and 45 cm long.

Mass and Hanger Set

(ME-8979)

Polycarbonate mass hangers with steel posts and "holed' masses that will not fall off. 4 hangers and 27 weights ranging from 1/2 g to 100 g.

Right Angle Clamp

(SE-9444)

This clamp fits rods up to 18 mm (11/16 in) in diameter.

Materials Used:

Meter Stick
Small Rod

The Associated Bundle:

Advanced Physics Standard Sensor Bundle

(PS-2932B)

This bundle contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Advanced Physics lab manual.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.