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Homework Help: A physics question with simple harmonic motion

  1. Jan 20, 2005 #1
    This is a little question that I am not sure how to do because of the way gravity works with vertical springs.

    A 3 lb block rests on top of a 5 lb block which is attacked to a k=1000 N/m spring force spring following hooke's law. The blocks are released and allowed to reach equilibrium (.08 m, of course). After this, the blocks are pushed downward and then allowed to oscillate. Q1: what is the maximum acceleration they can have at any point and still stay together. I said -g, which means that if they are accelerating downward at more than 10 m/s^2 (allowed to estimate the value of g). Then it asks what is the maximum distance it could have been pushed down (after the .08) and just reach this acceleration.

    This is where I got tripped up, as I was unsure on how to include potential energy and whatnot. Anyone care to do it so I can learn by example?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 20, 2005 #2


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    There's a similar problem solved in detail on this forum exactly...It's under the thread title:"Redemption:I challange Dextercioby"...That's me... :tongue2:

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