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Effective spring constant of two springs latched headon

  1. Jun 25, 2013 #1
    In the Princeton Review for AP Physics, there is a question on calculating the effective spring constant when two springs are joined side by side, like so:

    spring 1 spring 2
    |~~~~~~ ~~~~~~[mass]

    Their spring constants are k1 and k2.

    How would you go about answering the question? The book starts by saying F = -k1/x1 and F = -k2/x2, where F is the net force, and x1 and x2 are the displacements for each spring, but this does not seem right to me. Is it?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 26, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Hi, and welcome to Physics Forums! :smile:

    It's probably not right, but what are the next couple of lines in the derivation they are showing? Once we know that, we can see what they are angling at. :wink:
  4. Jun 26, 2013 #3
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