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**1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data**

I am working on my lab, in which I have to find eigenvalues of coupled harmonic oscillators running a) in the same direction and b) in opposite directions. Two masses, three springs.

--v^V^V^V^v--[M]--v^V^V^V^v--[M]--v^V^V^V^v-

I have to compare my calculated values to measured values. My three trials for the same-direction oscillation came back with an average frequency of 0.901 Hz. Each of the carts have mass M, 0.25 kg. I calculated the outer springs as having values of k of 35.28 Nm each, and the center spring as having a constant of 80.18 Nm.

I'm having a lot of trouble getting my measured and calculated frequencies to the same order of magnitude, let alone the same number.

I'm assuming w

_{1}and w

_{2}(the frequencies of each cart) should be the same, right?

**2. Relevant equations**

F=ma=kx

w=sqrt(k/m)

???

**3. The attempt at a solution**

Calculated frequency: 0.918 +/- 0.051 Hz (three trial average)

Assuming k=35.28 for the outer springs and the mass of each cart is 0.25 kg:

w = (35.28)/(0.25), except for it's not.

I really have a poor understanding of this, and I need help. I really appreciate it.