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ERIC Number: EJ983118
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
How Reflected Wave Fronts Dynamically Establish Hooke's Law in a Spring
Fahy, Stephen; O'Riordan, John; O'Sullivan, Colm; Twomey, Patrick
European Journal of Physics, v33 n2 p417-426 Mar 2012
A simple benchtop experiment in which a moving cart collides with a fixed spring is described. Force-time and force-distance data recorded during the collision display the transit of compression wave fronts through the spring following impact. These data can be used by students to develop a computational model of the dynamics of this simple mass-spring-sensor system using a simple application of the wave equation and thereby develop an intriguing picture of how a spring realizes Hooke's law approximately in this dynamic physical problem. (Contains 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: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A