Hooke's Law


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.