1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

General Rule for Spring Compression?

  1. Dec 7, 2008 #1
    Though this is part of my homework I posted it here because it's a general rule that applies to all physics and doesn't contain specific values from my homework.

    A block of mass m slides on a horizontal frictionless table with an initial speed. It then compresses a spring of force constant k and is brought to rest. How much is the spring compressed x from it's natural length.

    *also* Is k the same K as in Force of spring = -Kx
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2008 #2
    (Yes, the k in Hooke's law is lower case).

    For this problem you must realize that as the block hits the spring, it moves (covers distance) against the force kx. As a result, the spring does work on the block. Now, how much work it takes to slow the block down as a function of compressed spring distance is essentially what they're asking in this question.

    I can't tell you the formula, as that would be doing your homework for you. But...think about how much work the spring does for a small distance assuming the force is constant over that distance - and use that to figure out how much work is done for any compression length x.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: General Rule for Spring Compression?
  1. Compression springs (Replies: 3)