Featured in PASCO’s Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Physics through Inquiry Teacher Guide

(PS-2873C)

Features over 30 inquiry based labs covering the core topic areas of mechanics, electricity and magnetism, optics, thermodynamics and more.

Simple Harmonic Motion

Lab Summary

Use a force sensor and motion sensor to determine the spring constant by measuring the spring extension due to each of three different masses suspended from the spring.

Theory

This experiment examines one example of simple harmonic motion. A mass that is suspended from a spring is pulled down, released, and allowed to oscillate. The following will be examined:

Determining the spring constant by measuring the spring extension for each of three different masses suspended from the spring.

The relationship between position and time, velocity and time, and acceleration and time for the moving mass.

The relationship between the period of oscillation T, the spring constant k, and the oscillating mass m.

Method

Students explore simple harmonic motion by:

  • Using a force sensor and meter stick to determine the spring constant of a spring.
  • Using a motion sensor and force sensor to measure and record force versus time, position versus time, velocity versus time, and acceleration versus time data for a mass vertically oscillating.
  • Comparing graphs of force versus time, position versus time, velocity versus time, and acceleration versus time to observe relationships between the four measurements.
  • Analyzing a graph of position versus time to determine which parameters influence the motion of an oscillating object.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Motion Sensor

(PS-2103A)

The PASPORT Motion Sensor accurately measures position, velocity, and acceleration of a target. Can be used to track the motion of carts, balls, people and more.

PASPORT Force Sensor

(PS-2104)

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

Materials Used:

Balance

Assorted masses ~ at least 3

Meter stick

Right-angle clamp

Rod stand

Short rod

Spring

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Physics Starter Sensor Bundle

(PS-2923)

A sensor bundle specifically designed to get you started using probeware in your physics lab. Also: perform 26 of the 37 Lab Activities from Physics through Inquiry.

Option 2:

Physics Standard Sensor Bundle

(PS-2931B)

Contains the probeware needed to perform all 37 lab activities in the Physics through Inquiry lab manual.

Interface Required

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