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Mechanics
 
Aim: to find how to predict the Elastic Constant of combinations of springs
The elastic constant of a spring tells us the number of Newtons force needed to extend (or compress) it by a given amount (usually the number of Nm-1 or Ncm-1).
See elastic constant of spring.
 
Method
Measure the elastic constants, k1 and k2 of two springs.
Make sure that you choose springs having significantly different elastic constants.
Repeat the experiment with the two springs "in series", as shown below.
Obtain results from which can be found the value of the elastic constant, k of the two springs together.
 
Similarly, try to measure the value of k corresponding to the two springs placed "in parallel" with each other as shown in the next diagram.
 
This might be a bit more tricky in practice but should be possible with certain pairs of springs...
 
When you have results of forces and extensions, plot graphs from which the various values of elastic constants can be found.
 
Starting from the equation which defines the elastic constant
 find a mathematical relation between k, k1 and k2 for each of the combinations of springs.
See if your experimental results verify this relation.
 
 
 
 
 
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