# Spring constant in mass spring combinations

• mrcotton
In summary, a spring constant is a measure of the stiffness of a spring and is calculated by dividing the applied force by the resulting displacement. It is not affected by the mass of an object attached to the spring, but can change in different configurations of mass-spring combinations. Temperature does not have a significant effect on the spring constant, but extreme temperatures may slightly alter it due to the expansion or contraction of the spring material.

## Homework Statement

How do we derive the total spring constants of different mass spring systems

F= kΔx

## The Attempt at a Solution

I have just realized this is similar to this thread
I was told to treat this as F1 = F2 and the displacements are equal.
I am struggling to convince myself that F(total) = F1=F2

In the parrallel case I can see how the displacement is the same but again I am confused by the forces.
I guess I need a couple of spring balances

## 1. What is a spring constant?

A spring constant is a measure of the stiffness of a spring. It determines how much force is required to stretch or compress the spring by a certain distance.

## 2. How is spring constant calculated?

Spring constant is calculated by dividing the applied force by the resulting displacement. It is typically measured in units of newtons per meter (N/m).

## 3. What is the relationship between mass and spring constant?

The mass of an object attached to a spring does not affect the spring constant. However, the mass does affect the period of oscillation of the spring-mass system.

## 4. How does the spring constant change in mass-spring combinations?

In a mass-spring combination, the spring constant remains constant. However, the effective spring constant may change depending on the configuration of the springs (i.e. series or parallel).

## 5. How does temperature affect the spring constant?

Temperature does not have a significant effect on the spring constant. However, extreme temperatures can cause the material of the spring to expand or contract, which may slightly affect the spring constant.