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Homework Help: Spring Mass system where springs also have mass

  1. Apr 4, 2010 #1
    hello all,
    this will be my third time posting this question, i thought perhaps posting in the homework section might have it be answered. Recently I have been attempting to model a spring system (see below) where the springs themselves will have mass. I should know how to do this but i accept defeat, how do you model the potential energy and force system on two masses connected to three springs? I have read about effective mass but i fail to fully understand. Thank you all for the celerity.
    _
    \
    /
    \
    [M1]
    /
    \
    /
    [M2]
    \
    /
    _\_

    In this design the spring system is vertical and grounded on both ends. Many thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2010 #2

    rock.freak667

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    well the potential would just be mgx+ 1/2k(x+δ)2 if you plan to use Lagrange's equations to get your equations of motion.

    The center of mass of the spring would move down the distance x as well as the mass m.
     
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