Harmonic Motion

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Old Dominion University
Experiment 10 Harmonic Motion
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In this experiment we will investigate the simple harmonic motion of an object suspended by a spring that oscillates on a vertical plane and in a separate experiment was examine oscillations on a horizontal plane. In simple harmonic motion, the displacement from the equilibrium position is directly proportional to the force. The force generated is always directed toward the equilibrium position. If the object is at its vertical peak and descending, the force is directed downward toward the point of equilibrium. The same is true for the objects in a vertical system or a horizontal system. Because the force always is directed towards the equilibrium position it is referred to as the restoring force.

The spring constant of the springs used in the experiment must be calculated prior to performing any additional step. This is done using the Pasco Scientific Data Studio and equipment. We set up the 36” vertical support rod on the table clamp and attached the 90o adapter. The 24” support rod was set and the force sensor was place on the 24” rod. Once the force sensor was calibrated, a sequence of masses was suspended from the spring and the amount of stretch was measured and documented in Table 1 as spring 1. The graphing program calculated the slope of the results equaling to the spring constant, Graph 1. This process was duplicated for the second spring (spring 2) and documented in Table 1.

Part A investigated the vertical oscillation of a 0.75kg mass suspended from the spring. The mass was lowered approximately 5cm towards the motion sensor and then gently released. The DataStudio program generated the change in position versus time and Graph 2 displays the results. The results gave a harmonic wave and seven consecutive high points were documented in Table 2.

Part B investigated horizontal oscillation using two springs attached...
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