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When trying to find out a spring constant, should the platforms mass be included in the calculations if the scale has been zeroed out by the weight of the platform?

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my gut says no as well; but my physics teacher said that we have to.

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Other answers:

Yes same here... since : when you have already taken the mass including that of the platform mass as 0 , then we should not include the mass of the platform again.
the new deformation is caused only by new mass
so no
|dw:1348234340830:dw| he "asked the math major" will the first point be at the origin. To which I stated, "hopefully".
you will read only \[\Delta x\]
@RaphaelFilgueiras is right (acc. to me)
so he wants you to find the slope of a line but he insists the y intercept matters...
humor him I guess...
the slope of the linear approximation is the spring constant. And that slope is not dependant on where you begin so long as the data points are in the proper relation
i humored him .... i figure its best not to disrupt the delicate balance of the non math students of the class :)
if the platform totally stretches out the spring, that might be a concern ... but wouldnt you just use a different platform?
I guess he's technically right, since you could get into a region where the spring is non-linear ... but for practical purposes, kind of pointless extra busy work...
pointless extra superfluous* busy work
lol, sounds alot like number theory class this term too; alot of busy work to learn how to divide
heh. busy work is a global constant.
ive got another gripe that I will post anew ;)
Go for it.. :)

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