Register to reply 
Energy Stored in a spring 
Share this thread: 
#1
Jan213, 05:05 AM

P: 42

Why is the energy stored in a spring 1/2 * distance * force? Isn't work just force * distance?



#2
Jan213, 05:42 AM

P: 999

In the simple case of a constant force over a fixed distance you can just multiply force by distance. But in the case of a spring being compressed, the force is not constant. You could approximate the answer by analyzing the situation in small steps... You compress the spring the first 1/10th of the distance using 1/10th of the full force, the next 1/10th of the instance using 2/10th of the total force and so on. This approach would give you an answer that is pretty close. An exact answer can be obtained by using calculus and integrating instantaneous force over incremental distance. That answer turns out to be 1/2 * distance * maximumforce 


#3
Jan213, 05:53 AM

P: 42

Thanks, I understand now.



Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Stored spring energy  Introductory Physics Homework  4  
Energy stored while loading a spring  Introductory Physics Homework  4  
Stored energy in a spring  Classical Physics  6  
Energy stored in a spring  Introductory Physics Homework  11  
Potential energy stored in a spring...  Introductory Physics Homework  1 