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Homework Help: Amplitude of horizontal mass-spring system

  1. Apr 18, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    This is a horizontal mass spring system in a simple harmonic motion problem set.

    Vmax = 20 m/s
    F = 10 N
    m = 0.5 kg

    Find Amplitude (A) and spring constant (k)

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I could not figure out a way to solve this problem, and the only thing i could come up with was that the amplitude is equal to the x distance stretched. If this is true, then i can solve it using Hooke's law and other equations, but I'm not too sure it works out like that. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2012 #2
    You are correct. Remember that the hallmark of simple harmonic motion is a sinusoidal time dependence for position, e.g.

    [tex]x(t) = A\ \text{cos}(\omega t)[/tex]

    When [itex]t = 0[/itex], for instance, the position will be at its maximum value, which we call the amplitude of the motion.
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