- #1

seichan

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**[SOLVED] Conservation of Energy With Loss Due to Friction**

## Homework Statement

The cable of an elevator of mass m= 2690 kg snaps when the elevator is a rest at one of the floors of a skyscraper. At this point the elevator is a distance d= 75.0 m above a cushioning spring whose spring constant is k= 9700 N/m. A safety device clamps the elevator against the guide rails so that a constant frictional force of f= 9358 N opposes the motion of the elevator. Find the maximum distance by which the cushioning spring will be compressed.

## Homework Equations

U(x)=mgh

w(x)=1/2kx^2

## The Attempt at a Solution

Alright, I thought this problew was pretty straight forward. I first calculated the potential energy for the elevator when it is at rest, in which I found to be U(x)=mgd. This would be equal to the Kinetic friction at the bottom, however, there is energy loss to friction. So, the energy when the elevator hits the spring is U(x)-Force of friction, or mgd-f. We can set this eqaul to the amount of work done by the spring and solve for x. In other words: sqrt((2(mgd-f))/k)=x. The displacement is negative, so we want the negative value of this square root. I have put this answer into my web assignment a few times and cannot figure out where I am going wrong (I've tried using a positive value for the displacement as well). If you could tell me where my reasoning is wrong, that would be great.