20. Driven Mass on a Spring

A Pasco apparatus gives digital readouts of the natural period of the oscillator, the driving frequency, and the amplitude of oscillation. A flashing LED shows the phase angle between driving force and the oscillator. This is the type of instrument that is even more interesting to the professor than the students. The driving frequency and amplitude, spring constant, mass, and damping can all be varied. You can quantitatively measure amplitude versus time (undriven), amplitude versus driving frequency, phase angle versus driving frequency, transient response, etc.

We also have a horizontal version with variable magnetic damping, using the Pasco track and a cart connected by a spring to a sinusoidal drive. This version has no electronic readout.