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Homework Help: Conceptual Question on the Force of a relaxed spring

  1. Sep 10, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    When running a moving cart into a relaxed spring, will the force of the spring be constant on the cart?

    2. Relevant equations
    [tex]\Delta[/tex]P[tex]\rightarrow[/tex] =[tex]\rightarrow[/tex]Fnet[tex]\Delta[/tex]t

    or F = 1/2kx^2?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    my guess is that the more you compress or strech a spring, the stronger the opposing force
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 10, 2010 #2


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    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Your conceptual explanation is correct. That is essentially Hooke's Law. The force caused by an ideal spring increases linearly with it's compression (or expansion).

    However, F does not equal 1/2kx^2. That is the potential energy. F=-kx
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