Physics 109 - Mass on a Spring

This experiment adds a new data analysis item to your skill set. After that, you will make use of thisto compare your Kooke's law results to a measurement of the resonant frequency of the mass-on-a-spring system.


Work in pairs on the Fuel Consumption invention activity.


Use the tool learned in Fuel Consumption to reanalyze your Hooke's Law data.

PART III - Uncertainty Problem (work in pairs)

The resonant oscillation frequency of the mass-on-a-spring system is given by

2·pi·f = sqrt(k/m)

If your measured period for the system is T ± dT, derive an expression for the uncertainty in k.


Using an added mass of 20 g, obtain a high quality measurement of the spring constant k by measuring the period of oscillation. Use a small amplitude of 1 cm roughly.


Compare the value of k obtained by the two different measurements.

Marking Scheme

2 marks Invention Activity participation

2 marks for uncertainty problem

10 marks for a high quality determination of the spring constant and comparison to the spring constant found using Hooke's Law.
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