Natural Frequency of a Mass-Spring System

Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 06/02/2017 - 16:41

Exploration

Explore principles of harmonic motion. An oscillating mass on a spring or the motion of a simple pendulum are examples of objects in simple harmonic motion. When an object is in simple harmonic motion, the restoring force is directly proportional to the displacement and will act in opposition to that displacement, allowing the object to oscillate back and forth.

Objective

In this experiment, students will answer the following questions about principles of harmonic motion:
1. In a simple mass-spring system, how does the mass affect the natural frequency of oscillation?
2. Does the mass of the oscillator affect the spring constant?
3. Can you find the spring constant by changing the mass and measuring the frequency?

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Image
Mass-spring system diagram
Subject
Grade Level