Hooke's Law
Hooke's Law was one of the many great achievements
of Robert Hooke's life. This general law of mechanics states that stress
is directly proportional to strain. Basically if one applies a force,
F, to a spring, that spring will stretch a distance, x, away from the
equilibrium position. The equation for Hooke's law is:
F = kx
k is known as the spring constant. A spring with a
large spring constant requires a larger force to stretch the spring
the same distance as a spring with a small spring constant. In other
words, a spring with a large spring constant is very hard to stretch
and compress where as a spring with a small spring constant is very
easy to stretch and compress. The only limitation on this law is if
the spring is streched beyond its elastic limit, meaning that there
is a limit to a spring where if you stretch it to much it will deform,
thus the spring will have a new spring constant.
http://www.natmedmuse.afip.org/explore/micro/imgz/hooke_inventor.gif
