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Designing a toy rocket to be launched by a spring

  1. Apr 9, 2005 #1
    You're designing a toy rocket to be launched by a spring. The launching apparatus has room for a spring that can be compressed 14 cm, and the rocket's mass is 65 g. If the rocket is to reach 35 m altitude, what should be the spring constant?

    [tex]U_o = 1/2*kx^2[/tex]
    [tex]K_o = 0[/tex]
    well work is being stored so K = 0 and U has the spring energy right?

    [tex]U_f = mgh[/tex]
    [tex]K_f = 0[/tex]

    U_f = mgh because of the gravitational potention energy right? and K_f = 0 because it's at rest right when it reaches 35m? I'm not sure if K_f = 0 or not because i dont really know if the rocket is at it's max height when it reaches 35m.

    well, setting them equal to each other...
    [tex]1/2*kx^2 = mgh[/tex] and solving for k, i get 3.1 but the book gets 2.3 kN/M. what am i doing wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2005 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Your work is correct except for UNITS. Recalculate ALL quantities in MKS (meter, kg, sec) units, and you'll obtain the book answer.

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2005
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