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published by the PhET
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.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Work and Energy
Oscillations & Waves
- Oscillations
= Damped Oscillators
= Hooke's Law
= Simple Harmonic Motion
= Springs and Oscillators
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Free access
© 2005 PHET; University of Colorado at Boulder
Additional information is available.
Hooke's Law, damping, elastic potential energy, friction, harmonic oscillation, simple harmonic motion, spring constant, springs
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created April 26, 2006 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 6, 2018 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 3, 2006
Other Collections:

NSES Content Standards

Con.B: Physical Science
  • 5-8: Motion & Forces
  • 9-12: Motions & Forces
  • 9-12: Conservation of Energy & Increase in Disorder

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical 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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Record Link
AIP Format
(PhET, Boulder, 2005), WWW Document, (https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/legacy/mass-spring-lab).
PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs (PhET, Boulder, 2005), <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/legacy/mass-spring-lab>.
APA Format
PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs. (2006, March 3). Retrieved July 22, 2024, from PhET: https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/legacy/mass-spring-lab
Chicago Format
PhET. PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs. Boulder: PhET, March 3, 2006. https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/legacy/mass-spring-lab (accessed 22 July 2024).
MLA Format
PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs. Boulder: PhET, 2005. 3 Mar. 2006. 22 July 2024 <https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/legacy/mass-spring-lab>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs}, Publisher = {PhET}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {22 July 2024}, Month = {March 3, 2006}, Year = {2005} }
Refer Export Format

%T PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs %D March 3, 2006 %I PhET %C Boulder %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/legacy/mass-spring-lab %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %D March 3, 2006 %T PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs %I PhET %V 2024 %N 22 July 2024 %8 March 3, 2006 %9 application/java %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/legacy/mass-spring-lab

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

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PhET Simulation: Masses & Springs:

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

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