Homework Help: A spring and its coefficient

1. Oct 2, 2008

southernbelle

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
A block of mass 1 kg is forced against a horizontal spring of negligible mass, compressing the spring an amount x1= 0.2m. When released, the block moves on a horizontal tabletop a distance x2 = 1.0m before coming to rest. The spring constant k is 100 N. What is the coefficient of friction, μ, between the block and the table?

2. Relevant equations
K1 + U1 = K2 + U2
fs= -kx
Kinetic energy = 1/2kv2
Potential energy = mgh

3. The attempt at a solution
At x1 kinetic energy is 0 and potential energy is 1/2kΔx2
So the total energy would be = 40.
However, I do not know how to tie this in with the coefficients of friction.

2. Oct 3, 2008

Rake-MC

potential energy of a linear spring = $$\frac{1}{2} kx^2$$

therefore potential energy of this spring at this compression = $$\frac{1}{2} (100) (.04) = 2J$$

conservation of momentum $$E_k = E_p$$

so kinetic energy also = 2J at the moment that the spring reaches full length. $$\frac{1}{2}mv^2 = 2$$

Now solve for velocity at the instant it leaves the spring. Calculate the force due to gravity on the block.
Let me know how you go from there, it should be clear how to finish the question.

Last edited: Oct 3, 2008
3. Oct 3, 2008

southernbelle

Okay I understand now, thank you!

4. Oct 3, 2008

Rake-MC

No worries, I just realised that there was an error in the equation I wrote out on the second line of my post, however the result is still the same. I have corrected it now. apologies.