Mass-spring system

Investigation into simple harmonic motion using a mass-spring system and a simple pendulum

Equipment

Method

1. Set up the apparatus as shown in the diagram, with no masses slotted on the 50g holder.

2. Pull the mass hanger vertically downwards a few centimetres and release it. Start the stopwatch by clicking on the top when it passes the centre, previously marked on LabCity by using the ruler placed next to it.

3. Stop the stopwatch after 10 complete oscillations and record this time . Divide T10 by 10 to find the time period T of the mass-spring system and record this.

4.  Add a 50g mass to the 50g holder and repeat this, adding 50g each time up to 500g, recording the total hanging mass m and corresponding time period T for each.

5. Repeat the experiment twice more and find and record the mean T for each m.

Graphs and calculations

Plot a graph of T^2 against m and draw a line of best fit. The gradient will be 4π^2 divided by the spring constant.