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Harmonic Motion Problem

  1. Nov 5, 2005 #1
    Two masses m1=100g and m2=200g slide freely in a horizontal frictionless track and are connected by a spring whoser force constant is k=.5 N/m. Find the frequency of oscillatory motion for this system.

    Could someone give me a hint/help me get started on this? What equation(s) should I use??? I know omega = sqrt (k/m).

    I haven't done any problems like this since introductory physics 3+ years ago, so any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 5, 2005 #2


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    what's the geometry of the problem? are the two masses connected side by side? or what?
  4. Nov 6, 2005 #3
    The two masses are side-by-side with a spring connecting them...
  5. Nov 6, 2005 #4


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    Ok so there's a spring that goes to mass 1, then there's a spring that goes to mass 2?
  6. Nov 6, 2005 #5
    Two masses connected by a single spring
    m1 --------m2

    I hope this helps to make the geometry clear.
    I need help with this urgently :)
  7. Nov 6, 2005 #6

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    Here's a hint: The center of mass of the system moves at a constant speed, since there is no external force on the system. So you can think of each mass oscillating (on its own shorter spring) with respect to that center of mass.
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