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Plunger on compressed spring

  1. Mar 31, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A plunger of mass m rests on a spring with constant k. The spring is pressed down a distance x and released from rest. How large does the the mass need to be in order to keep the plunger in contact with the spring?

    2. Relevant equations

    PEf+KEf=PEi

    kx-mg+N=0

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Using the Conservation of energy equation and solving for m, I get:

    kx2/(2gh+vf2) = m

    I have a suspicion that I somehow have to incorporate the second equation into the answer, but am stumped as to how I proceed.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2010 #2

    Filip Larsen

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Perhaps you can find a way through by analyzing the acceleration of the spring-mass and consider what limits this must be within.
     
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