What Are The Units For The Spring Constant k?
The units for the spring constant, k, are Newtons per meter (N/m). Hooke’s law equation states that F = kx, where F is the force required to compress the material, measured in Newtons (N), k is the spring constant, and x is the compression distance measured in meters (m).
Since the force is measured in Newtons and the spring constant is multiplied by the distance in meters, the spring constant must have units that eliminate meters, resulting only in force. The only units that work for the spring constant are thus, Newtons per meter.
The spring constant is a measure of how much force is needed to compress material. A material with a large spring constant is very stiff and thus requires a large amount of force to compress it. Conversely, a material with a small spring constant is very pliable and compresses easily.