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Stretch And Relax


What kind of relationship exists between the force applied to several stretchable objects (such as a spring, a rubber band and a piece of elastic) and the amount of stretch?


Assorted springs, a ring stand with a support rod to hold objects, tape, meter stick, assorted masses, large paper clip if needed


1. Hang a spring from a support rod.
2. Slowly increase the amount of mass that you attach to the spring.
3. Decrease the amount of mass that hangs on the spring.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for a rubber band and a piece of elastic.

Summing Up:

1. When you added mass, what happens to the spring's length?
2. When you removed mass, what happened to the spring's length?
3. What term to we apply to a material that alters its length when a force is applied to it?
4. Do all materials stretch the same amount for an applied force?
5. From your observations, what characteristic varies from substance to substance?