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Elastic Potential Energy Problem

  1. Jan 12, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The staples inside a stapler are kept in place by a spring with a relaxed length of 0.115 m. If the spring constant is 51 N/m, how much elastic potential energy is stored in the spring when its length is 0.150 m?

    Ok, so:
    Relaxed length= 0.115 m
    k= 51 N/m
    x= .150-.115= .035 m

    2. Relevant equations
    PE elastic = 1/2kx^2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I did PE elastic = 1/2(51)(.035)^2 and got 0.031 Joules, but this doesn't seem correct. Am I doing something wrong?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2009 #2
    Seems fine. Is the answer sought in some other units?
  4. Jan 12, 2009 #3
    No, I just wanted to double check to see if I did the problem correctly. I guess I wasn't expecting such a small number. Thanks for the help.
  5. Jan 12, 2009 #4
  6. Jan 26, 2009 #5
    Woaa.. i have this exact problem with slightly different numbers... Are you doing homework for utexas?
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