SAT Subject Physics Practice Question 232: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 232

3.

A block of mass m undergoing simple harmonic motion. Frictional forces are negligible and can be ignored.

Which quantity would always be greater if the block oscillated with a smaller force constant?

A. Amplitude
B. Frequency
C. Period
D. Position of block
E. Total mechanical energy of the block

Correct Answer: C

Explanation:

According to the equation for the period of a spring–block simple harmonic oscillator, T = 2π, we see that the period is inversely proportional to the square root of k, the force constant of the spring. So, if k is smaller, T will be greater.

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