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Homework Help: Find the time constant of a damped system

  1. Jun 11, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 3.9kg block hangs from a spring with constant 2160 N/m. The block is pulled down 6.2 cm from the equilibrium position and given an initial velocity of 1.5 m/s back towards equilibrium. The mass and spring are now immersed in water to damp the motion, so that the amplitude is reduced to 5% of its original value in 25 seconds. What is the time constant?

    2. Relevant equations
    τ=m/b where b is damping constant

    3. The attempt at a solution
    In previous parts of the question I found that the Amplitude (before damping) is 89cm, but I'm not sure if that's useful in this problem. I thought there might be some way to find out what the damping constant is from the fact that it reduces to 5% of A in 25 seconds, and then just plug that into τ=m/b, but I'm not sure how to go about that. Any help would be really appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Sounds good to me - what does the equation of damped harmonic motion look like?
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