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Need help with spring constant problems

  1. Mar 25, 2012 #1
    For these questions I use a problem solving method known as GUESS. G-given, U-unknown, E-equation, S-solve, S-solution

    A spring of spring constant of 25 N/m is attached to different masses, and the system is set in motion. Find the period and frequency of vibration for masses of the following magnitudes:
    a. 4.6 kg

    b. 4678 kg

    c. .034 kg

    And one more....
    A 0.56 kg mass attached to a vertical spring stretches the spring 0.60 m.
    a. What is the spring constant?
    G: 0.56kg=m (I don't know what to put 0.60m as)
    E: f=-kx
    -f/x= k
    S: ?

    b. The mass-spring system is now placed on a horizontal surface and set vibrating. What is the period of the vibration?

    I'm obviously not very good at physics, help please :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2012 #2
    For part a you would need to use the potential energy equation involving the spring constant. which is U = 1/2kx^2 set this equal to kinetic energy and solve for velocity. You will also need to know the distance it is stretched. F = kx, F = mg you have these so solve for x. Now to find the frequency you would need to take the velocity and calculate the time it takes for the mass to drop and return. Take this time and and input it into f = 1/s f stands for frequency.

    You should be able to figure out part b with this.

    Good luck
  4. Mar 26, 2012 #3
    Oh and period is T = 1/f, T is period
  5. Mar 26, 2012 #4


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    This reads very much like a homework problem, which should be on another Forum.
    All these sorts of problems involve the concept of putting appropriate values into a formula. This doesn't come naturally to everyone but, once you start to believe that it works, you will find things easier.
    You need to look at all the equations that you have available and find one which has your wanted variable and which has other variables in it that you have values for. (This where GUESS applies) You must either have a text book or, if not, there are many Web tutorials about mass / spring oscillators and stretching springs. I think you should be looking this stuff up for yourself - at least for a start.
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