In the parallel spring system, the springs are positioned so that the 30 N weight stretches each spring equally. The spring constant for the left hand spring is 3.2 N/cm and the spring constant for the right-hand spring is 6.6 N/cm.
The diagram is basically 2 springs holding a 30 N weight. (similar to this picture)http://img53.imageshack.us/my.php?image=simg476yr9.gif
The question is asking how far down will the 30N weight stretch the springs?
The Attempt at a Solution
30 N/ (3.2 N/cm) = 9.375 cm
30 N / (6.6 N/cm) = 4.54 cm
I'm not entirely sure what to do from this point because conceptually, I don't understand how one spring with a smaller spring constant can hold up a weight at the same level as the larger spring constant. If you know how to do this problem, please help! This problem is due by Monday! Thank you in advance to those who reply!!