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Restoring Force for a Slinky's Fundamental Oscillation
Philip Gash
California State University, Chico
A Slinky s fundamental oscillation is the lowest order standing longitudinal wave the Slinky supports. Its frequency is determined by solving a transcendental equation obtained from a wave equation solution. To evaluate the frequency a so-called "Slinky effective mass" is employed in spite of the fact a Slinky has a well dened mass. The solution s mathe- matical complexity obscures a signicant Slinky property which simplies determination of the oscillation frequency: The restoring force acting upon the Slinky s center of mass is produced by only the coils between it and the support. Experimental evidence is presented to verify the aforementioned property. PACS numbers: 01,02,45 Keywords: mechanics, oscillations,springs, center of mass