A Simple Model of Initial Tension in Springs Academic Article uri icon


  • 2019 American Association of Physics Teachers. Most springs do not simply obey Hooke's law because they are constructed to have an initial tension, which must be overcome before normal elongation occurs. This property, well known to engineers, is universally neglected in elementary physics courses. In particular, the standard simple harmonic motion experiment omits any discussion of this property while implicitly taking into account, to some extent, its consequences. A simple, linear model of initial tension could be used to justify the usual experimental procedure. The simplicity of the model renders its analysis accessible to introductory students.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Bassichis, W. H.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Bassichis, William H

publication date

  • September 2019