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Homework Help: Spring Elastic Potential

  1. Oct 22, 2006 #1
    Question-A child placed a spring of negligible mass between two toy cars of masses 0.112 kg and 0.154 kg. She compresses the spring and ties the cars together with a piece of string. When she cuts the string, the spring is released and the cars move in opposite directions. The 0.112 kg car has a speed of 1.38 m/s. What was the elastic potential energy stored in the spring before the string was cut?

    Solution-I've tried to start this and I have no idea even where to begin. All I have so far is this picture I drew describing what's happening...

    Spring Compressed
    ----

    Spring Uncompressed (at rest)
    - - - -

    Before
    Car1----Car2

    After
    Car1- - - -Car2
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 22, 2006 #2

    OlderDan

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    What physical quantities do you think are conserved in this process?
     
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