MCAT physics problem please help

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  • #1
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Two springs with equal masses attached but with different spring constants (k) oscillate with the same amplitude. The spring with the larger spring constant (k) has:

a. a higher maximum velocity
b. a larger maximum displacement
c. a lower total energy
d. a lower frequency of oscillation
e. a longer period of oscillation


I'm pretty certain that it is not C, D, E based on the equations for both period and frequency and the formula for Potential Energy = 1/2 kx^2

I think it is between A and B. Please help :) thank you!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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Two springs with equal masses attached but with different spring constants (k) oscillate with the same amplitude. The spring with the larger spring constant (k) has:

a. a higher maximum velocity
b. a larger maximum displacement
c. a lower total energy
d. a lower frequency of oscillation
e. a longer period of oscillation


I'm pretty certain that it is not C, D, E based on the equations for both period and frequency and the formula for Potential Energy = 1/2 kx^2

I think it is between A and B. Please help :) thank you!
Welcome to the PF.

Is there a difference between "displacement" and "amplitude"?
 
  • #3
gneill
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What's another name for maximum displacement? Does the term appear in the question statement?
 
  • #4
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I am unsure if there is a difference.. :( There is no further clarification.

I have a feeling that it could be A based on the fact that, the larger the spring constant (k), the larger the frequency --> f = (1/2pi)(sqrt k/m)


If you plug in a large frequency into the equation velocity = frequency x wavelength, you get a higher velocity. However, the thing is, you can only change the velocity of a wave by changing the medium that the wave propagates through. Since we are using 2 different springs, with 2 different spring constants, does this mean we have different mediums? Because that would make A the answer I believe.

THANK YOU FOR THE WARM WELCOME...this message board is awesome!
 
  • #5
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oh and, I know that amplitude has NO EFFECT on period if that helps?
 

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