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Homework Help: K of a spring and efficiency?

  1. Jan 16, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Well, this isn't really a number question, but I'm wondering if the larger the k of a spring, if that will make the energy transformation of a weight from potential energy to spring energy more efficient?

    2. Relevant equations

    F=-kx ; energy before = energy after

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Well, I think that the larger the k of a spring is, the more efficient the said energy transformation will be, because if the spring had a small k, then there is more work against friction... And less heat will be dissipated?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 16, 2010 #2
    Mathematically speaking, there's no relation between the stiffness of a spring and the energy dissipation of the spring. That has more to do with the actual mechanical properties of the material the spring is made out of more than it does with its stiffness.

    Though a case could be made that a softer spring is more prone to deformation -> more prone to energy loss to heat generated in the coils.

    But unless I have evidence to back up my claims, I'm pretty much making it up as I go along.
     
  4. Jan 16, 2010 #3
    Haha, well my lab backs it up. I'm just never very sure.. because.. it IS a physics lab.

    Thanks!
     
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