Education Technology

Mass on a Spring

Updated on 03/11/2015

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will simulate the motion of an anvil attached to a spring as it oscillates on a frictionless, horizontal surface.

Objectives

  • Students will investigate the effects of mass, spring constant, and initial displacement on the motion of an object oscillating on a spring.
  • Students will observe the relationships between displacement, velocity, and acceleration for an object in simple harmonic motion.

Vocabulary

  • amplitude
  • period
  • simple harmonic motion (SHM)
  • spring constant

About the Lesson

This lesson simulates the motion of an anvil attached to a spring as it oscillates on a frictionless, horizontal surface. Students are able to manipulate the mass of the anvil, the spring constant of the spring, and the initial displacement of the anvil from equilibrium. The motion is analyzed by using position vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time graphs.
As a result, students will:

  • Describe the effects of mass, spring constant, and initial displacement on the motion.
  • Identify the factors that affect the period.
  • Calculate the period, maximum speed, and maximum acceleration.

This activity was created using Lua. Learn more about Lua in TI-Nspire here.