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Mass-Spring Equilibrium Point: Affect on Position, Velocity, & Acceleration

  1. Oct 2, 2012 #1
    Somehow I have become confused about the different parameters of a damped mass-spring system that follows:

    my'' + cy' + ky = 0

    When the mass-spring system is oscillating, but passing through its equilibrium position (y=0), the third term will be zero. And from the best I can rationalize, the acceleration is also zero at this point and the velocity is maximal. Thus the first term is zero and the second non-zero. So I am left with one non-zero term equal to zero.

    Where is the flaw in my reasoning? Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2012 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    So far, so good.
    The acceleration y'' will only be zero if both other terms are zero (or add to zero). As long as it's moving, there will be a damping force (second term) and thus an acceleration at y = 0.
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