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published by the Physics Education Technology Project
This simulation provides a realistic virtual mass-and-spring laboratory. Students can explore spring motion by manipulating stiffness of the spring, the hanging mass, the initial pull, damping (friction) and gravity. Charts of kinetic, potential, and thermal energy are displayed alongside, allowing for energy analysis of the system.
This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET).
Please note that this resource requires Flash.
NSES Content Standards
Con.B: Physical Science
This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.
Topic: Conservation of Energy
Unit Title: Energy Forms and Sources
This is a good model for students to interactively explore how masses and springs relate to potential energy and Hooke's Law. They can adjust the stiffness of the spring, the hanging mass, damping (friction) and gravitational constant. Energy charts are provided to analyze the changing potential and kinetic energy of each spring.Link to Unit:
Topic: Periodic and Simple Harmonic Motion
Unit Title: Conservation of Energy and Forces on a Spring
In this realistic virtual mass-and-spring laboratory, students explore spring motion by hanging weights of different masses on springs. Students can adjust the spring stiffness and damping. (Damping is a force, often friction, that reduces amplitude.) Real-time charts show changing kinetic, potential, and thermal energy levels as the springs oscillate. Can be adapted for a variety of levels and capabilities.Link to Unit:
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PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs:
Is a Student Extra Of Physics Classroom: Motion of a Mass on a Spring
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: Motion of a Mass on a Spring
Is Required By PhET Teacher Activities: Experimental Design with Forces
A comprehensive lesson plan for middle school that blends a classroom experiment with the PhET simulation Masses & Springs. Contains scripted teacher discussion, background information, student guide, assessment with answer key.relation by Caroline Hall
Is Required By PhET Teacher Activities: Hooke's Law
A set of guided student problems with answer key, developed specifically for use in high school physics with the PhET simulation Masses & Springs.relation by Caroline Hall
Is Required By PhET Teacher Activities: Introduction to Oscillations
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