Mass hanging on a spring

In summary, the conversation discusses the measurement of potential energy in a lab using a mass on a spring. One question posed is what happens to the energy stored in the spring when it oscillates and eventually comes to a rest. The answer is that in ideal cases, the energy is conserved and converted between potential and kinetic energy. However, in practical cases, other factors such as friction and air resistance must be taken into account, resulting in a decrease in the energy of the system.
  • #1

Homework Statement


For my lab we measured potential energy with a mass on a spring. One of the questions is: When the spring is allowed to oscillate for some time, its amplitude becomes smaller until it eventually comes to a rest. What happens to the energy stored in the spring (What form of energy is it converted to)?


Homework Equations


None


The Attempt at a Solution


I assume it is talking about the restoring force becoming greater than the force of gravity on the mass, but I don't know what form of energy it changes into.

Thanks.
 
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  • #2
In ideal cases, for conservation of mechanical energy PE+KE= constant.

But in practical cases, what cannot be left out? (What makes a car slow down when the brake pedal is pressed down?)
 

1. How does the mass affect the spring's movement?

The mass of an object attached to a spring affects the spring's movement by changing its equilibrium position and the amount of force required to stretch or compress the spring. A heavier mass will require more force to stretch or compress the spring compared to a lighter mass.

2. What is the relationship between the spring constant and the mass?

The spring constant, also known as the stiffness of the spring, is directly proportional to the mass attached to the spring. This means that as the mass increases, the spring constant also increases and vice versa.

3. How does the amplitude of the spring's oscillation change with varying masses?

The amplitude of a spring's oscillation, or the maximum distance it moves from its equilibrium position, is not affected by the mass attached to it. The amplitude remains constant as long as the force applied to the spring remains constant.

4. How does gravity affect the spring's movement?

Gravity plays a significant role in the movement of a spring with a mass attached. The force of gravity pulls the mass downwards, causing the spring to stretch. As the spring returns to its equilibrium position, the force of gravity pulls the mass downwards again, creating a repeating cycle of oscillation.

5. How does the position of the mass on the spring affect its movement?

The position of the mass on the spring does not affect its movement, as long as the force applied to the spring remains constant. However, if the mass is not centered on the spring, it may cause the spring to twist or bend, resulting in a different type of movement or oscillation.

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