Lectures on Physics has been derived from Benjamin Crowell's Light and Matter series of free introductory textbooks on physics. See the editorial for more information....

Exercise: Vibration


  • air track and carts of two different masses
  • springs
  • alligator clips
  • meter sticks
  • spring scales
  • stopwatches
  • air track
  • spring
  • cart

Place the cart on the air track and attach springs so that it can vibrate.

1. Test whether the period of vibration depends on amplitude. Try at least two moderate amplitudes, for which the springs do not go slack, and at least one amplitude that is large enough so that they do go slack.

2. Try a cart with a different mass. Does the period change by the expected factor, based on the equation

3. Use a spring scale to pull the cart away from equilibrium, and make a graph of force versus position. Is it linear? If so, what is its slope?

4. Test the equation


Last Update: 2009-06-21