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A box with two springs on a frictionless table

  1. Oct 17, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm having trouble visualizing what is going on in this problem. I imagine that the box is in a position like this with a spring on each end of the box. Then a force F is applied that compresses the springs. What I'm wondering is: How does the force parallel to the springs compresses both springs? It would seem that one would be compressed, while the other would not be effected.

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  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 17, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    The springs are attached to the box, so if the box moves, the attached ends of the springs move with it. The outer ends of the springs are clamped to some fixed supports. So when the box moves, one spring is compressed while the other is stretched.
  4. Oct 17, 2016 #3
    So more like this? Where the black rectangles are the supports?

  5. Oct 17, 2016 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Yup. Here's my version:

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