Forces reason objects to relocate or deform in some way. Newton’s 3rd law says that because that every force, there is an equal and also opposite force. This is true for springs, i beg your pardon store and also use mechanical energy to carry out work.

You are watching: What does the spring constant mean

Springs are elastic, which way after they space deformed (when they room being stressed or compressed), they go back to their original shape. Springs are in plenty of objects we usage on a daily basis. Castle in ball allude pens, mattresses, trampolines, and also absorb shock in ours bikes and also cars. Follow to the 3rd Law that Motion, the harder your pull on a spring, the more difficult it pulls back. Springs obey Hooke’s Law, discovered by Robert Hooke in the 17th century. Hooke’s law is defined by:

F = -kx

Where F is the force exerted top top the spring in Newtons (N),

k is the spring constant, in Newtons per meter (N/m),

and x is the displacement of the feather from its equilibrium position.

The feather constant, k, is representative of how stiff the feather is. Stiffer (more challenging to stretch) springs have greater spring constants. The displacement of an object is a street measurement that explains that readjust from the normal, or equilibrium, position.

### Problem

Calculate the spring consistent using Hooke’s law.

Which spring execute you think will have actually the best spring constant? The the smallest spring constant? Why?

### Materials

Scale (measures grams or kilograms)Ruler (measuring centimeters)Different coil springsSmall weightWooden plankTable or countertopBooks, or other stackable objects

### Procedure

With the assist of an adult, solve one finish of each feather to one side of the wooden plank. Be sure to leave a couple of inches between each spring. Why should one end of the feather be fixed?Arrange some publications on a table or countertop in two stacks, around the length of the wooden plank.Place the wooden plank on the stacks with the springs hanging down. Make certain there is still part room in between the bottom that the springs and the table.Using the centimeter side of a ruler, measure up the equilibrium position of every spring.Weigh the small weight on the scale and record its fixed in kilograms. Why walk the mass have to be in kilograms?Attach the load to each feather one in ~ a time, and also use the ruler to measure up the displacement. one easy means to execute this is to measure the length of the spring, and also then subtract the equilibrium length.Calculate the gravitational force exerted by the fixed on the spring.

Fg = mg

Where Fg is the gravitational force, in Newtons, m is the mass of the weight, in kilograms, and g is the gravitational consistent of Earth, same to 9.81 m/s2.

Set the gravitational pressure (Fg) same to the force exerted by the spring (F). Why deserve to you do these 2 variables equivalent? use Hooke’s legislation to calculate the spring constant, k, because that each spring.

### Results:

Springs with bigger spring constants will have smaller displacements 보다 springs v lesser feather constants because that the same mass added.

### Why?

Hooke’s legislation is a representation of linear elastic deformation. Elastic method that the feather will return to its original kind once the exterior force (the mass) is removed. Linear explains the relationship in between the force and the displacement. The fact that the spring continuous is a continuous (it is a residential or commercial property of the feather itself), reflects that the relationship is linear.

Of course, Hooke’s regulation only stays true when the material is elastic. If a feather is permanently deformed (by something like crushing or overstretching), it will certainly no much longer return come its original position. If girlfriend have ever before played v a slinky and also accidentally stretch that too far or bent it out of shape, you’ll recognize that the doesn’t perform like the is supposed to afterward.

For Hooke’s regulation to work-related properly, the parts of the equation have to be in the correct units. Without consistent units, the equation is meaningless.

See more: What Is The Value Of 27°C On The Kelvin Temperature Scale? ?

You can collection the gravitational pressure exerted by the mass on the spring equal to the force exerted through the spring because of Newton’s third Law that Motion, which states that forces come in pairs. Every force has one equal and also opposite force.

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