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Homework Help: Oscillations and mechanical energy

  1. Apr 16, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A mass-spring system oscillates with an amplitude of 3.30 cm. If the spring constant is 231 N/m and the mass is 537 g, determine the mechanical energy of the system.

    2. Relevant equations

    Mechanical energy is potential energy plus kinetic energy

    3. The attempt at a solution

    How do I go about starting this problem?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 16, 2009 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Are you familiar with the equation for the energy stored in a compressed (or extended) spring, in terms of k and delta-x?
  4. Apr 16, 2009 #3
    1/2*k*delta x but I'm not given delta x am I? or is the amplitude delta x? and if it is then what do I use for velocity in the 1/2 mv^2 ?
  5. Apr 16, 2009 #4
    it's 1/2*k*delta x squared. The max amplitude is your delta x, and since you're considering the situation at max amplitude, the velocity is zero, and so you have just potential energy.

    Good luck!
  6. Apr 17, 2009 #5
    Thank you
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