Just wondering if you could tell me what the potential energy of this system is...?(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

We have a linear mass-spring system, 3 masses all of equal mass m, 4 springs all of same length, same spring constant k...

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Each mass is displaced by x1, x2 and x3 respectively.

I am reckoning the potential energy is,

U = [tex]\frac{1}{2}[/tex]k(x[tex]^{2}_{1}[/tex] + x[tex]^{2}_{3}[/tex]) + [tex]\frac{1}{2}[/tex]k(x[tex]_{3}[/tex] - x[tex]_{2}[/tex])[tex]^{2}[/tex] + [tex]\frac{1}{2}[/tex]k(x[tex]_{2}[/tex] - x[tex]_{1}[/tex])[tex]^{2}[/tex]

The superscripts in terms 2 and 3 in brackets should in fact be subscripts (but the latex code _{} is putting in superscripts)...

My means of obtaining this value are pretty raw so i would appreciate any insight into what's really going on (if of course my U is correct)...

Thanks

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# Homework Help: Mass-spring potential energy

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