Energy stored while loading a spring

In summary, the conversation discusses how to estimate the energy stored during the loading process by using a graph of force vs. extension. The markscheme specifies that the area under the graph at any given point should be used, which differs from the initial assumption of the entire area under the graph. The conversation concludes with a clarification on the calculation of the area, which is determined to be 1/8*x*y.
  • #1
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I am doing a question which asks to plot a graph of Force vs. extension; it then asks how can the graph be used to estimate the energy stored during the loading process. I thought that this would simple be the area under the graph, however the markscheme says "the area under the graph at any given point." Can anyone explain the reason for this please?

Thanks
 
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  • #2
This means the area under the graph up to the given point. For instance if you have a graph that looks like a triangle, one corner at the origin, sloping up to some maximum x and maximum y; if you want to know the energy stored when the extension (or compression) is at x/2 (half the maximum) you only want to know the area up till that point, i.e. 1/8*x*y
 
  • #3
thanks, where did you get 1/8 xy from? wouldn't it be 1/4 xy?

Thanks
 
  • #4
np,
1/2*base*height right? base = x/2 ; height = y/2 --> 1/8xy
 
  • #5
Yes, my mistake. Thank you.
 

1. How is energy stored in a spring?

When a spring is loaded, it experiences a force that causes it to stretch or compress. This force causes the molecules within the spring to move closer together or farther apart, creating potential energy within the spring. This potential energy is what is stored in the spring.

2. What factors affect the amount of energy stored in a spring?

The amount of energy stored in a spring depends on the spring constant, which is a measure of the stiffness of the spring. The more stiff the spring is, the more energy it can store. The amount of deformation or compression of the spring also affects the energy stored. The more the spring is compressed or stretched, the more energy it can store.

3. Can energy be lost while loading a spring?

Yes, energy can be lost while loading a spring. This can happen due to friction between the spring and the object it is attached to, or between the coils of the spring itself. In addition, some of the energy may be converted into heat, especially if the spring is compressed or stretched repeatedly.

4. How is the energy stored in a spring released?

The energy stored in a spring is released when the force that was causing it to stretch or compress is removed. This allows the molecules within the spring to return to their original positions, releasing the potential energy as kinetic energy. This is why a compressed or stretched spring will snap back to its original shape when released.

5. What are some real-world applications of energy stored in a spring?

The energy stored in a spring is used in various applications, such as in clocks, toys, and mechanical devices. For example, the potential energy stored in a wound-up clock spring is released slowly to power the clock's movement. The potential energy stored in a stretched or compressed spring is also used in various types of mechanical devices, such as car suspensions and pogo sticks, to provide a cushioning effect and absorb impact.

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