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Hooke’s Law

In this article we will learn about Hooke’s law, Formula of hooke’s law, Explanation of hooke’s law, Hooke’s law applications and Hooke’s law disadvantages.

Hooke’s law is a law of elasticity developed by the English scientist Robert Hooke in 1660, which states that for relatively mild deformations of an object, the displacement or amount of a deformation is precisely proportional to the deforming force or load. When the load is removed under these conditions, the item returns to its original shape and dimensions. The fact that minor displacements of their constituent molecules, atoms, or ions from normal locations are proportional to the force that generates the displacement explains the elastic behaviour of solids according to Hooke’s equation.

Stretching, compressing, squeezing, bending, and twisting can all be used to distort a solid. According to Hooke’s law, a metal wire exhibits elastic behaviour when stretched by an applied force since the modest increase in its length doubles each time the force is doubled. Hooke’s law asserts that the applied force F equals the displacement or change in length x times a constant k, or F = -kx. The value of k is determined not only by the type of elastic material but also by its dimensions and shape.

Formula of Hooke’s Law

As long as the load does not exceed the material’s elastic limit, many materials will obey this law of elasticity. Linear-elastic or “Hookean” materials are those for which Hooke’s law is a useful approximation. Hooke’s law states that stress is proportional to strain in a direct relation.

Hooke’s law is expressed mathematically as:



x is the displacement of the spring’s end from its equilibrium position 

F is the restoring force exerted by the spring on that end 

k is a constant called the rate or spring constant 

Explanation of Hooke’s Law

Hooke’s Law is a physics principle that asserts that the force required to expand or compress a spring is proportionate to the distance travelled. The rule is named after Robert Hooke, a British physicist who attempted to demonstrate the relationship between the forces applied to a spring and its elasticity in the 17th century. In 1660, he formulated the law as a Latin anagram, and in 1678, he published the answer as ut tensio, sic vis (which means “as the extension, so the force” or “the extension is proportional to the force”).

Hooke’s law is the first example of a traditional explanation of elasticity, which is the quality of an item or material that allows it to return to its original shape after being distorted. The ability to return to its original shape after being distorted is known as a “restoring force.” This restoring force is often proportional to the amount of “stretch” experienced, according to Hooke’s Law.


Hooke’s Law governs the behaviour of springs as well as many other circumstances in which an elastic body is distorted. These can include anything from blowing up a balloon and pulling on a rubber band to calculating the amount of wind force required to bend and wobble a tall building.

Hooke’s Law is compatible with Newton’s rules of static equilibrium in its most general form. They make it feasible to deduce the relationship between strain and stress for complicated items based on the intrinsic materials of the properties they are formed of when they are used together. When a homogeneous rod with uniform cross section is stretched, it behaves like a simple spring, with a stiffness (k) that is exactly proportional to its cross-section area and inversely proportional to its length.

Another fascinating aspect of Hooke’s law is that it perfectly illustrates the first Law of thermodynamics. Any spring almost flawlessly conserves the energy provided to it when compressed or expanded. Natural friction is the only source of energy loss. Furthermore, Hooke’s law includes a wave-like periodic function. In a periodic function, a spring released from a distorted state will return to its original position with proportional force. The motion’s wavelength and frequency can also be measured and estimated.

Hooke’s Law Applications

The creation of a balance wheel, which permitted the development of mechanical clocks, portable timepieces, spring scales, and manometers, was made possible by Hooke’s law. Furthermore, Hooke’s law is attributed to various branches of science and engineering because it is a near approximation of all solid bodies (as long as the forces of deformation are small enough). These fields include seismology, molecular mechanics, and acoustics.

Hooke’s Law Disadvantages

Hooke’s Law, like much classical mechanics, can only be applied to a limited set of circumstances. Because no material can be crushed or stretched past a particular minimum size (or stretched beyond a maximum size) without causing permanent distortion or change of state, it only applies to a certain amount of force or deformation. Many materials, in fact, deviate noticeably from Hooke’s law long before they reach their elastic limits.


Even if the material stays elastic and returns to its original shape and size after the force is removed, the deformation of the elastic material is often more than expected on the basis of Hooke’s law at relatively large values of applied force. Hooke’s law describes the elastic properties of materials only in the region where force and displacement are proportional. F = -kx is how Hooke’s law is written.  F no longer refers to the applied force, but to the equal and oppositely directed restoring force that allows elastic materials to return to their original dimensions.

Hooke’s law can alternatively be stated as a stress-strain relationship. Stress is the force that occurs as a result of an externally applied force on unit areas within a material. The relative deformation caused by stress is known as strain. Stress is related to strain for relatively modest stresses.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the JEE Examination Preparation.

Why is the value of k negative in Hooke’s Law?

Ans. The spring constant, k, is denoted as the negative one in Hooke’s equation. Because of t...Read full

What is Hooke’s Law?

Ans. The stress-strain connection of some materials is the subject of Hooke’s Law, which was ...Read full

What are the advantages of Hooke’s Law?

Ans. Hooke’s law had numerous practical uses, including the development of a balancing wheel, whi...Read full

What are the disadvantages of Hooke’s Law?

Ans. Hooke’s Law, like much classical mechanics, can only be applied to a limited set of circ...Read full

Why do we need Hooke’s Law?

Ans. Hooke’s Law is one of the constitutional equations that describes the relationship betw...Read full