Does a Spring Stretch More When Attached to an Immovable Wall or When Detached?

In summary, the spring would stretch more when it is attached to an immovable wall, as the force applied by two people is greater than the force applied by one person when the spring is detached. In the first case, there is a total force of 2F on the spring, while in the second case, there is a total force of only F. This difference in force results in more stretch in the first case.
  • #1
hatingphysics
14
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Two people pull on a horizontal spring that is attached to an immovable wall. Then, they detach it from the wall and pull on opposite ends of the horizontal spring. They pull just as hard in each case. In which situation, if either, does the spring stretch more?

I think that the spring would stretch more when it is attached to the immovable wall because it is immovable and the force being put on the spring is more than the 1 people. I may be wrong though!
 
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  • #2
hatingphysics said:
Two people pull on a horizontal spring that is attached to an immovable wall. Then, they detach it from the wall and pull on opposite ends of the horizontal spring. They pull just as hard in each case. In which situation, if either, does the spring stretch more?

I think that the spring would stretch more when it is attached to the immovable wall because it is immovable and the force being put on the spring is more than the 1 people. I may be wrong though!
But you may be right. Okay, in the first case, you do have 2 people pulling, each with a force F. That's a 2F total force on the spring. What about in case 2? They each pull with a force F. You must explain why you think there would be less stretch in this case. What is the total force applied to the spring in this 2nd case?
 
  • #3


Your reasoning is partially correct. When the spring is attached to an immovable wall, the force exerted by the two people is distributed along the entire length of the spring, resulting in a greater overall force on the spring. This would cause the spring to stretch more compared to when it is detached from the wall and the force is only applied at the ends. However, the amount of stretch also depends on the stiffness of the spring. If the spring is very stiff, it may not stretch significantly even with a greater force applied. On the other hand, if the spring is more flexible, it may stretch more even with a smaller force applied. Therefore, the answer to the question ultimately depends on the specific characteristics of the spring being used.
 

What is a conceptual spring?

A conceptual spring is a model that represents a physical spring and its properties, such as elasticity and potential energy, in a simplified and abstract manner.

How does a conceptual spring differ from a real spring?

A conceptual spring is a simplified representation and does not take into account real-world factors such as friction, air resistance, and material properties of the spring.

What are the applications of conceptual springs?

Conceptual springs are commonly used in physics education to introduce students to the concept of springs and their behavior. They can also be used as a tool for understanding and solving problems in engineering and other fields.

What factors affect the behavior of a conceptual spring?

The behavior of a conceptual spring is affected by its spring constant, the mass attached to it, and the displacement from its equilibrium position. It is also affected by external factors such as the force applied to it and the presence of other objects.

Can a conceptual spring be used to accurately predict the behavior of a real spring?

No, a conceptual spring is a simplified model and cannot accurately predict the behavior of a real spring. It can, however, provide a basic understanding of the fundamental principles of springs.

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