Investigating Hooke’s Law

This is an example of a common experiment used to investigate Hooke’s Law. It should help you understand how to work scientifically.

Aim of the experiment

To investigate how adding mass to a spring affects its extension.


  1. Set up the apparatus as in the diagram
  2. Add a 10 g mass to the holder and record the spring length.
  3. Add another 10 g mass and record the new spring length.
  4. Take away the previous spring length from the new length to calculate the extension (the difference).
  5. Repeat by adding 10 g masses until 100 g is reached.
Experiment to investigate Hooke's law. Masses are added to a spring to show how its extension is affected.An experiment to investigate Hooke’s Law


  • The independent variable is the mass.
  • The dependent variable is the extension.
  • Controlled variables include using the spring and masses used.


Care must be taken with masses.

Expected results

Mass used (g)Force (N)Spring length (mm)Extension (mm)
100.1255(extension = spring length – original spring length)

What the results mean

The spring extended 5 mm each time a 10 g mass is added (which increased the force due to gravity by 0.1 N). This follows Hooke’s Law which states that the extension of an elastic object (like a spring) is directly proportional to the force added.


  • Your measurements are accurate if they are close to their true value.
  • Your measurements are precise if they are similar when completed again.
  • Your experiment is repeatable if you get precise measurements when it is repeated.
  • Your experiment is reproducible if others get precise measurements when they repeat it.
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