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Here are the given variables in a problem in my textbook:

*spring has negligible mass

*force constant(k) = 1600n/m

*spring is placed virtically with one end on the floor

*1.2kg book is dropped from a height of .80m above the top of the spring

*spring has negligible mass

*force constant(k) = 1600n/m

*spring is placed virtically with one end on the floor

*1.2kg book is dropped from a height of .80m above the top of the spring

__maximum distance the spring will be compressed?__

what confuses me specifically are the signs (+/-) and the distances involved. Here is what I am thinking:

I need to use K1 + U1 = K2 + U2 (k1 = zero)

now when it comes to potential energy, i don't know whether to use MGY or 1/2kx^2..can someone point me in the right direction? thanks!