How well do slinkies obey Hooke's Law? Here are
data taken with a Vernier force probe and a slinky stretched to
various lengths—using different numbers of coils—on
a smooth wooden floor.
You should find that each "subslinky" obeys the law
pretty well. But what is the relationship between the spring constant
you get and the number of coils we used?
What should happen? Given the same distance and a different
number of coils, will you feel more force with more coils, or less
force, or the same? And what does that have to do with the spring
constant? See if you can explain the relationship you get physically.
coils is the number of coils.
dist_ft is the length of the stretched slinky in
feet.
force_N is the force in Newtons, the pull on the
force probe.
(data by Tim Erickson, Spring 2001)
