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Help with harmonic oscillation/SHM/Periodic motion question

  1. Dec 13, 2015 #1
    I'm a bit unsure about my answers. Help! (posting figure)
    link: http://imgur.com/whExO3S
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    http://imgur.com/whExO3S
    Consider the harmonic oscillator composed of a mass and two springs of spring constants k1 and k2 (shown in figure). If the mass, M moves on a friction less surface, answer the following in terms of the quantities given.
    a) What is the restoring force on the mass when it is displaced a distance of x to the right?
    b) What is frequency of oscillation, ω, for this oscillator?

    2. Relevant equations
    ω=sqrt(k/M)
    F=-kx

    3. The attempt at a solution
    a)

    F=k1x+k2x=x(k1+k2)
    b)
    ω=sqrt(k/M)
    since there are two force constants acting on the mass
    ω=sqrt((k1+k2)/M)

    ^seems way too simple though. What am I missing?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 13, 2015 #2

    Ken G

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You are not missing anything! A good test: try setting each k to zero in turn, and make sure you get a reasonable answer.
     
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