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Efficiency of a Spring

  1. May 5, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    So, I have a 5.0 kg rat that goes down a ski slope, slides along a rough patch, and then smashes into a vertical board with a spring attached. I need to find out the efficiency of the spring with this information:
    m=5.0 kg
    v (after sliding across rough patch)=108 m/s ; it also says that because of internal friction, the velocity is 50% than above, so it's 54 m/s (after hitting the board and spring)
    [tex]\Delta[/tex]x=2.42 m (the magnitude of the spring's compression)

    2. Relevant equations
    Possibly Ek=.5mv2 and Eelastic=.5k([tex]\Delta[/tex]x)2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Well, I think that Ein is equal to Ek, as this is the energy required for the spring to compress, but I'm not completely sure of Eout. Is it possibly Eelastic (I know this value from a previous question)? If I use these two though, I get an answer around 400%, which is obviously wrong.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 6, 2009 #2


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    Are you saying that it hits the spring with a velocity of 104m/s, then exits the spring with a velocity of 54m/s? It might be best to state the problem as exactly worded (both parts).
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