Hooke's law - Natural Extension of Spring

  1. Can I find out the natural extension of a spring if I am only given the mass of a block that can be put on it and the value of the spring constant? I have found x ( from the formula F = -kx ) when the block is on it but I now need to find the extension of the spring with no mass on the end. It is probably really simple but I am just a little stuck! Thanks
  2. jcsd
  3. With no mass attached, what is F? Plug that value in and solve for x. Or am I missing something?
  4. well I thought with no mass the force is zero but then is the k equal to x? See, i was getting a big answer then for x and it didnt seem like the right answer. I am definitely missing something very obvious here
  5. How heavy is the spring itself? Is the spring vertical or horizontal?
  6. The spring is vertical and the question does not give the mass of the spring.
  7. No, k is not equal to x in that case. Recall your algebra, you have to do the same thing to both sides to isolate the variable you want. Solve for x by doing the same thing to both sides then plug in 0 for mass/force (you can plug in the zero first, but its usually easier to solve first then plug in).
  8. Ok great, thanks a mill :)
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