# Solving for Work Done on Compressing Spring: What Am I Doing Wrong?

• dcgirl16
In summary, the conversation discusses a question about finding the work done to compress a spring with a force constant of 290.0 N/m and a distance of 12.3mm. The correct answer is 0.0219J, but the individual is having trouble getting this answer and is questioning their approach. They mention using the equation F=kx and calculating the work as 0.0439J, but are unsure if this is the correct method. Another person suggests using the equation Ee=1/2kx2 for elastic potential energy and considering conservation of energy.
dcgirl16
I have this question
THe work done to compress a spring with a force constant of 290.0 N/m a total of 12.3mm is.. and the answer is .0219J but i can't get this answer
This is what i did
F=kx
F=290(.0123)
F=3.567

W=Fcos0 d
W=3.567(.0123)
.0439J

What am i doing wrong??

Notice the force is different for different distances, thus, Fd doesn't really work here.

Do you know what the potential energy is for a spring with spring constant k compressed a distance of x?

do you mean the elastic potential Ee=1/2kx2
and then would i use that in the work equation?

It's conservation of energy. Work must have been done against the spring to give the spring that potential energy.

## 1. How do I solve for work done on compressing a spring?

To solve for work done on compressing a spring, you can use the equation W = 1/2kx^2, where W is the work done, k is the spring constant, and x is the displacement of the spring from its equilibrium position.

## 2. What is the spring constant and how do I find it?

The spring constant, denoted by k, is a measure of the stiffness of a spring and determines how much force is required to compress or stretch the spring. It can be found by dividing the force applied to the spring by the resulting displacement.

## 3. Why is my calculated work done on compressing the spring not matching the expected value?

There could be a few reasons for this discrepancy. First, make sure you are using the correct formula and units for the spring constant and displacement. Also, consider any external factors that may affect the spring, such as friction or air resistance. Lastly, check your calculations to ensure they are accurate.

## 4. Can I use the same formula to solve for work done on a compressed spring and a stretched spring?

Yes, the same formula can be used for both compressed and stretched springs. However, the sign of the work done will be opposite depending on whether the spring is being compressed or stretched.

## 5. How does the work done on a compressing spring relate to its potential energy?

The work done on a compressing spring is equal to the change in potential energy of the spring. This means that when work is done on the spring to compress it, the potential energy of the spring increases. Conversely, when work is done by the spring to return to its equilibrium position, the potential energy decreases.

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