Concepts of Physics

IIT JEE Physics (1978-2018: 41 Years) Topic-wise Complete Solutions

Calibrating a Non-Linear Spring


To calibrate a spring and get the mass of a given object.


A spring, a hanger of 100 g and 4 separate weights of 100 g each, meter Scale fixed with a nail for hanging the spring , clamp, object of unknown mass, graph paper, 6'' plastic scale



You have to clamp the given meter scale vertically with the nail /rod on the upper side. It is a nonlinear spring and hence you cannot have a unique spring constant. To measure the mass of the given object you must first calibrate the spring with the given standard masses i.e., to know the extension of the spring for each of these masses. You should draw a calibration graph with the standard masses and then obtain the mass of the given object from the extension corresponding to it. Actual extension is not needed for this calibration. Do your experiments as accurately as you can and mention the possible errors and your efforts to reduce it.