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Mass spring system where springs have mass

  1. Apr 4, 2010 #1
    hello all,
    Recently I have been attempting to model a spring system (see below) where the springs themselves will hold mass. I should know how to do this but i accept defeat, how do you model the potential energy or a force system on two masses connected to three springs? I have read about effective mass but i fail to fully understand. Thank you all for the celerity.
    _
    \
    /
    \
    [M1]
    /
    \
    /
    [M2]
    \
    /
    _\_

    In this design the spring system is vertical and grounded on both ends. Many thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 7, 2010 #2
    Just apply newton's laws. If l1,l2,l3 are the lengths of the springs at a time t ,l1+l2+l3 =constant due to the grounding. Hence, you get two equations in two unknowns.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2010 #3
    yes i've been doing that and also derived the kinetic energy for the springs (1/6 mv^2 because of the springs mass per length) but am having difficulty compiling the kinetic energies and potentials.
     
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