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Homework Help: Average energy mass on a spring

  1. Apr 28, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Hi, I hope this isn't a silly question. I am looking to find the mean potential energy of a mass on a spring with spring constant k and maximum displacement x0.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I know the maximum energy is 1/2*kx0^2 so would the mean potential energy be half that?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 28, 2014 #2
    Yes, the mean PE will be half of the maximum , but not just like that.
    PE at any instant is 1/2 kx2 = 1/2kx02cos2(ωt+ø) ,
    avg. of cos2(ωt+ø) over a time period is 1/2.
  4. Apr 28, 2014 #3
    ah okay thanks!
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