# Total Mechanical Energy and Spring Oscillations

## Using Kinematic Equations for Mass on Spring

**In the first part of the lab, where the mass is moving up and down, the velocity is continuously changing. The kinematic equations can be used to determine various parameters like position, velocity, and acceleration. The kinematic equations are a set of equations that relate the motion of an object to its position, velocity, acceleration, and time. These equations are derived based on the assumptions of constant acceleration or constant velocity, which are not applicable in this case.**

The motion of the mass in the lab involves a spring, which introduces a varying force that depends on the displacement of the mass. The force exerted by the spring is given by Hooke's law, which states that the force is proportional to the displacement from the equilibrium position. This means that the acceleration of the mass is not constant, and therefore the kinematic equations cannot be directly applied to determine the position or other parameters accurately.

## Spring Compliance with Hooke's Law

**Hooke's law states that the force exerted by a spring is directly proportional to the displacement from its equilibrium position. In the simulation, if the spring obeys Hooke's law, the force exerted by the spring should increase linearly with the displacement. This can be verified by examining the relationship between the force and the displacement in the simulation data.**

By plotting a graph of the force exerted by the spring against the displacement, if the spring obeys Hooke's law, the data points should lie on a straight line through the origin (0,0). Deviations from a straight line would indicate that the spring does not strictly follow Hooke's law.

## Effect of Non-Conservative Force on Total Mechanical Energy

**In the presence of a non-conservative force such as air resistance, the total mechanical energy of the system would decrease over time. This is because non-conservative forces dissipate energy from the system, converting it into other forms such as heat or sound. As a result, the mechanical energy, which is the sum of the potential energy and kinetic energy, would gradually decrease.**

If a graph of the total mechanical energy versus time is plotted, it would show a decreasing trend. Initially, the energy would be at its maximum when the system is at its equilibrium position.