# Physics lab assignment

Spring Constant – A Virtual PhET Lab

After completing this lab activity, the students should be able to:

• Conduct an experiment to determine the spring constant
• Calculate the spring constant
• Write a lab report

Lab Report

The lab report must include the following:

• Title
• Introduction
• Experimental Details or Theoretical Analysis
• Results
• Discussion
• Conclusions and Summary
• References

An example of a lab report is given on the following website:

Lab Activity

• This lab requires you to produce a lab report to determine  The Spring Constant of a Spring. This is the Title of your lab report.
• Read the relevant chapter on spring constant and Hooke’s law and add an Introduction.

You conduct this lab by connecting to the PhET website by clicking on the link given below (or where applicable through the embedded simulation on the lab page):

• For this experiment, you use the Lab section of the simulation. After you click the lab section of the simulation, select “Displacement/Natural Length,” “Mass Equilibrium,” and “Movable Line” boxes (upper right-hand corner). Then, select “Earth” and the correct gravity value will appear. Move the Damping scale to Lots extreme. This will stop the spring bouncing up and down. Now, select the Spring Constant scale to the middle (middle of the simulation).  Now you can change the Mass values as you desired, but you must have at least three different mass values and conduct the experiment that will enable you to find the spring constant by plotting a graph. Once you find the spring constant from the graph, find the masses of the two unknown objects Red and Blue. You find these masses without changing the spring constant scale, since you will use the spring constant value you found from the graph to find the unknown mass. This information constitutes the Experimental Details section of the lab report. You must keep a record of all the values appearing on the screen as experimental values for the scenario. These values also form part of the Results section of the lab report. Now, complete the theoretical calculations including the plotting of the graph. These calculated values and the graph form the Results section of the lab report.
• Now, you can complete the Discussion section of your lab report by comparing the values and discussing any differences in the theoretical and experimental values and any other information relevant to the experiment.
• Complete the lab report by adding a summary to the Conclusion section of your lab report.
• Submit the lab report to the relevant Canvas Dropbox 