Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Spring Experiment to Determine Gravitational Field Intensity
Name: Stewart
Status: student
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A


Question:
hi, i was just wondering if someone could possibly explain the theory behind the experiment in which an oscillating spring is used to determine the acceleration due to gravity? and even more so, if anyone could explain why a bifilar suspension can be used for the same purpose? I have read in textbooks how do carry out the experiments but they have been unclear as to the theory behind them.



Replies:
The theory is that, in both cases the speed at which the masses vibrate depends directly upon the force placed on them - in most cases gravity. If you look at the equations, each has a factor "g" in the vertical form. This g is the acceleration of gravity.

Try this though experiment: what would each of these processes look like if done on the Space Shuttle where the effective gravity is zero (because the bodies are in perpetual free fall)? Would a pendulum work, either?

Robert Avakian



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory