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ERIC Number: EJ936673
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
Studying Springs in Series Using a Single Spring
Serna, Juan D.; Joshi, Amitabh
Physics Education, v46 n1 p33-40 Jan 2011
Springs are used for a wide range of applications in physics and engineering. Possibly, one of their most common uses is to study the nature of restoring forces in oscillatory systems. While experiments that verify Hooke's law using springs are abundant in the physics literature, those that explore the combination of several springs together are very rare. In this paper, an experiment designed to study the static properties of a combination of springs in series using only one single spring is presented. Paint marks placed on the coils of the spring allowed us to divide it into segments, and consider it as a collection of springs connected in series. The validity of Hooke's law for the system and the relationship between the spring constants of the segments and the spring constant of the entire spring are verified experimentally. The easy setup, accurate results, and educational benefits make this experiment attractive and useful for high school and first-year college students. (Contains 2 tables, 1 footnote and 5 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A