# Question Interpretation: "Describe the energy conversions in spring"

1. Jul 31, 2014

### Jaimie

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Hi,
I have a question in interpreting the following question:
"Describe the energy conversions in a spring undergoing simple harmonic motion as it moves from the point of maximum compression to maximum stretch in a frictionless environment. Be sure to point out the points at which there will be...
i) maximum speed
ii) minimum speed
iii) minimum acceleration"

I know how to explain the motion and the answers for this but I'm wondering if the question is asking about simple harmonic motion for a vertically hanging spring (vertical motion, no friction) or simple harmonic motion for a wall-attached spring (horizontal motion, no friction) as it compresses and expands on a table surface? I understand that both scenarios involve simple harmonic motion without friction. In this chapter we are looking simple harmonic motion of a spring with no friction.

2. Relevant equations

N/A

3. The attempt at a solution
N/A

2. Jul 31, 2014

### Staff: Mentor

I would think either case would see you earn full marks if explained correctly, but since you ask I'd say go with the latter.

3. Jul 31, 2014

### CWatters

The question asks about the energy conversions involved. In both cases the energy conversions that they are likely to be most interested in are similar (although not identical). I agree with NascentOxygen, the latter (horizontal case) is simpler.

4. Jul 31, 2014

### olivermsun

I think the energy conversions should be the same, no matter which case you choose to describe. I agree with NascentOxygen that it shouldn't matter as long as you make it clear what you are explaining and explain it correctly.