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General Rule for Spring Compression?

  1. Dec 7, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    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.




    2. Relevant equations

    ??
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2008 #2

    mgb_phys

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    Conservation of energy.
    Whats the energy of a moving block
    Whats the energy of a compressed spring
     
  4. Dec 7, 2008 #3
    Conservation of energy is mgh1 + 1/2mv1^2 = mgh2 + 1/2mv2^2

    energy of a moving block is 1/2mv^2

    energy of a compressed spring is potential?

    How do I apply these to find how much the spring will compress.
     
  5. Dec 7, 2008 #4

    mgb_phys

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    No this is only for a falling object mgh2 = gravitational potential energy.

    Whats the equation for the energy in a compressed spring?
     
  6. Dec 7, 2008 #5
    energy in a compressed spring is F = -Kx

    and is conservation of energy m1v1 = m2v2?
     
  7. Dec 7, 2008 #6

    mgb_phys

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    No that's momentum.
    Spring energy = 1/2 k x^2
    Kinetic energy = 1/2 m v ^2

    For conservation of energy you have the ke of the block at the start and the spring energy at the end. So the ke just equals the spring energy.
     
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