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Spring Constant Question Help

  1. Nov 12, 2006 #1
    I have a problem I cannot figure out. It asks to calculate the spring constant when given a spring hung from the ceiling, a 0.497 kg block attached to the free end of the spring. The block is released from rest, drops 0.12 m before coming momentarily to rest. How do I calculate the spring constant?? Please Help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2006 #2

    radou

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    What does the force in a spring equal?
     
  4. Nov 12, 2006 #3
    F = -kx I thought
     
  5. Nov 12, 2006 #4

    radou

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    Right. That's one of the forces acting on the block. Which is the other one? What is the relation between these two forces in order for the block to be in equilibrium?
     
  6. Nov 12, 2006 #5
    Right. That's one of the forces acting on the block. Which is the other one? What is the relation between these two forces in order for the block to be in equilibrium?

    The other one would be gravity (mg) acting on the block. I thought the relation was F = kx - mg. But I do not know for sure.
     
  7. Nov 12, 2006 #6

    radou

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    If there was a non-zero net force F, as you stated, the block wouldn't be at rest. The problem states that the block came to rest, after the spring extended for some amount x. So, if the block is at rest, the net force must equal zero. Hence, kx = mg.
     
  8. Nov 12, 2006 #7
    I tried that solution and it did not work. Here is the original problem.

    A spring is hung from the ceiling. A 0.497-kg block is then attached to the free end of the spring. When released from rest, the block drops 0.12 m before momentarily coming to rest. What is the spring constant?
     
  9. Nov 12, 2006 #8

    radou

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    Interesting, it should work, unless I'm missing something enormous here. Do you know the solution?
     
  10. Nov 12, 2006 #9
    No, it is part of the e-homework I have. The next part says to calculate the angular frequency. I only have limited tries and I have tried the second part.
     
  11. Nov 12, 2006 #10
    *have not tried
     
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