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Maximum spring compression problem

  1. Oct 4, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A horizontal spring with k = 71 N/m has one end attached to a wall and the other end free. An 95 g wad of putty is thrown horizontally at 3.7 m/s directly toward the free end.

    Find the maximum spring compression.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    Tried squaring the 3.7m/s to get 13.69m^2/s^2 and multiplying that by the weight of the putty to obtain 1.3J, the work done.

    Plugging that in...


    which is incorrect.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2011 #2


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    Multiplying it by the mass of the putty, not the weight. :wink:

    In any case, I suspect you are missing the factor of 1/2 in the expression for the kinetic energy.
  4. Oct 4, 2011 #3
    I doubled the KE when I multiplied the 1/2 over in the second step, is that what youre talking about?
  5. Oct 4, 2011 #4


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    I'm saying the KE is not 1.3 J, it's half of that. You computed 1.3 J using mv2 when you should have used (1/2)mv2.
  6. Oct 4, 2011 #5
    Got the right answer after rounding it properly haha. Thank you, that's all for tonight. :)
  7. Dec 15, 2011 #6
    Can any one help me with this issue??

    A block of mass m is dropped onto the top of a vertical spring whose force constant is k. If the block is released from a height h above the top of the spring then what is the maximum compression of the spring??

    Waiting for your replies.


    compression springs
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