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ERIC Number: EJ891991
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Apr
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
A Simple Experiment for Determining the Elastic Constant of a Fine Wire
Freeman, W. Larry; Freda, Ronald F.
Physics Teacher, v45 n4 p224-227 Apr 2007
Many general physics laboratories involve the use of springs to demonstrate Hooke's law, and much ado is made about how this can be used as a model for describing the elastic characteristics of materials at the molecular or atomic level. In recent years, the proliferation of computers, and appropriate sensors, have made it possible to demonstrate this on a small scale without the necessity of purchasing or fabricating specialized equipment. This paper describes an experiment that uses these new resources to determine the elongation of a very fine wire as a function of stretching force. A graphical presentation clearly demonstrates the range of validity of Hooke's law and also allows one to see the onset of plastic deformation without catastrophic failure of the wire. The experiment is easy to perform with off-the-shelf equipment and may be readily incorporated into a standard Hooke's law laboratory exercise.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A