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Physics Form 4: Chapter 2 - Hooke's Law

Elasticity is the ability of a material to return

to its original shape/length when the stretching
force or the compressing force is no longer acting on

Hookes law states that the force applied is

proportional to the extension of spring, provided
the elastic limit is not exceeded.

Gradient = spring constant

Area under the graph = elastic potential energy

Spring constant quantifies the stiffness of a spring.

Steeper gradient of graph F against x, extension

has a stiffer spring.

Spring A is stiffer than spring B.

In physics , the term ELASTICITY is almost similar to the

one defined in dictionary, i.e...
A property of object that enable it to return into its
original length & shape after an applied external force
is removed
However, we science stream student should be able to
understand the term elasticity beyond what have been
understood by the lament. Again, lets look in depth the
term elasticity in physics point of view.

Usually every physics's law has graphical explanation.

Seems it is a directly proportional relation between F & x,
so we'll have a straight line passes through origin.

In SPM, the concept of elasticity leads us to appreciate

another famous physics law called a Hooke's Law.
This is the law that relates the force applied and the
extension or compression of the elastic object such as
spring and rubber band.
Hooke's law states that;
The extension of elastic material such as spring is
directly proportional to theforce applied provided
the elastic limit is not exceeded.

In simple word it means, the larger the force applied, the

longer the extension of the spring as long as it doesnt
exceed the elastic limit. Please take note that extension
means increase in length.. not the total length of the
spring when the force is applied.
If we look at mathematics point of view, we have a
relation between F( force) and x (extension), thus we
arrived to a variation formula of

F= kx
where k is the 'spring constant or force constant'
The problem with our syllabus, the maths we learn in
form 4 does not tally with the one that we learned in
physics. The concept of variation or proportionality will
only be learned in form 5 maths. That is part of the
reason why some form 4 students are having difficulties
to understand the term 'k' i.e force constant.
However if u r form 4, at the moment just appreciate that
same spring with same material has fixed value of 'k'
If we pull a spring with a force F, the spring length is
displaced, i.e it is extended.This product of Force(F) &
displacement (x) tells us that work is being done. (Recall
Work=Force x displacement) Thus we can say taht there
is energy stored in the spring. This energy is known as
elastic potential energy. It can be determined using the
following formula,

Elastic Potential Energy =

1/2 (F)(x)

From the graph, u must acknowledge that..

Gradient = force constant (k)
where, the steeper the gradient, the bigger the spring
constant,i.e the stiffer the spring
Meanwhile, from the graph its area represents potential
Area under the graph = Elastic potential energy

Hooke's Law

Graph of Streching Force - Extension

Hooke's Law states that if a spring is not

stretched beyond its elastic limit, the
force that acts on it is directly
proportional to the extension of the
Elastic Limit
The elastic limit of a spring is defined as
the maximum force that can be applied
to a spring such that the spring will be
able to be restored to its original length
when the force is removed.
Equation derived from Hooke's Law

Gradient = Spring constant

From Hook's Law, we can derived that

Area below the graph = Work done

F-x graph and spring constant

Spring Constant

Spring constant is defined as the ratio of the

force applied on a spring to the extension of
the spring.

The higher the gradient, the greater the spring

constant and the harder (stiffer) spring.

It is a measure of the stiffness of a spring or

elastic object.

For example, the stiffness of spring A is

greater than spring B.

Diameter of
the spring
(The smaller
the diameter of
spring, the
stiffer the
Length of the
(Shorter spring
is stiffer)

Arrangement in

Arrangement in

Extension = x
number of spring
Stiffness decreases
Spring constant =
k/number of spring

Extension = x
number of spring
Stiffness increases
Spring constant = k
number of spring

Factors Affecting the Stiffness of Spring

Material type
of spring
(A steel spring
is stiffer than a
copper spring)
Diameter of
wire of spring
(The greater
the diameter of
the wire, the
stiffer the

Less stiff

The efficiency of a device is defined as the
percentage of the energy input that is transformed
into useful energy.


Always keep the cooling coil clean.


Defrost the refrigerator regularly.


Choose the refrigerator with capacity suitable

for the family size.



In the example above, the input power is 100J/s, the desire

compare with refirgerator of small capacity.

output power (useful energy) is only 75J/s, the remaining

Refrigerator of large capacity is more efficient

Lamp or Light Bulb

power is lost as undisire output. Therefore, the efficiency of

this machine is

Air Conditioner


Use fluorecent bulb rather than incandescent

bulb. Fluorescent bulbs are much more efficient than

incandescent bulbs.

Use a lamp with reflector so that more light is

directed towards thr desirable place.

Washing Machine


Switch off the air conditioner when not in use.


Buy the air conditioner with suitable capacity

according to the room size.


Close all the doors and windows of the room to

avoid the cool air in the room from flowing out.


Use front-loading washing machine rather than

top-loading wahing machine because it uses less water

and electricity.

Use washing machine only when you have

sufficient clothes to be washed. Try to avoid washing

small amount of clothes.


Always remember to close the door of


Open the refrigerator only when necessarily.

Pressure is defined as the force acting
normally per unit area. (Here, the word
"normally" means perpendicularly.)

The SI unit of pressure is Pascal (Pa). 1 Pa is

equal to1 newton per metre2 (N/m).

1 N/m = 1 Pa
Factors Affecting the Magnitude of
Factors that affect the pressure acting on a
Magnitude of the force.
The larger the force, the higher the pressure.
Contact area.
The larger the contact area, the lower the


As shown in the diagram above, a 20N force

acts on a 4cm surface. The force is shared
equally by the surface, hence each 1 cm of
the surface withstand a force of 5N (20N/4).
The force (5N) acts on 1 unit area (1cm) is
said to be the pressure acting on the surface.
Therefore, the pressure acting on the surface is

Unit of Pressure

Pressure in Liquid

Pressure in Liquids
Pressure in liquid is owing to the
weight of the liquid acting on the surface of
any objects in the liquid.
Pressure of a liquid is directly
proportional to

the gravitational field


the depth


density of the liquid.

Pressure in liquids is not affected by
the size or shape of the object.
The pressure caused by a liquid and
the pressure in a liquid can be determined
by using the equation below:
Pressure Caused by Liquid

The pressure caused by a liquid has the

following characteristics:

Pressure in liquid does not depends


the shape of the container.


the size of the container.

The deeper the liquid, the faster the
liquid spurts out.
In conclusion, the pressure in a liquid
increases with depth.

Pressure depends on the vertical

depth, but not the length of liquid


the area of its surface.

Pressure at A = Pressure at B

All points at the same level in a

liquid are at the same pressure
Pressure increases with depth

The level of the surface of a liquid in a

container is always the same because for a
given liquid, the pressure is always equal at
the same level.

Pressure does not depend on the

surface area of the object.

Pressure exerted on the small fish

= Pressure exerted on the big fish

Gas Pressure
Gas pressure is the force per unit area
exerted by the gas molecules as they collide
with the surface of an object.
In SPM, especially in paper 2 essay
question, you need to know how the gas
pressure is produced. (See question below)
Explain how gas pressure is produced in a
closed container?
Gas molecules in a container are in
constant and random motion.
As a result, the gas molecules collide
on the wall of the container.
After colliding on the wall, the gas
molecules bounce off, and the direction
change creating a change of momentum to
the molecule of the gas.
The change of momentum produces a
force on the wall.
The force per unit area is the pressure
on the wall.