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Spring Constant when compressed

  1. Feb 26, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A 6kg block is released from the top of a 1.0m ramp (frictionless) and slides into a horizontal spring, compressing it 45 cm. Determine the spring constant.

    2. Relevant equations

    PEg = mgh (6*9.8*1) = 58.8

    PEs = 1/2kx^2 (1/2*k*.45^2)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Do I set the two equations equal to each other and get 582.2 as the spring constant?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2012 #2


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    Welcome to PF,

    Yeah that seems like the right approach to use: energy conservation. All of the gravitational PE that the object had at the top of the ramp is converted into KE by the time it reaches the bottom of the ramp, and then into elastic PE as it compresses the spring. So assuming no losses due to friction, you can equate the initial and final PE.
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