1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data The ends of two identical springs are connected. Their unstretched lengths l are negligibly small and each has spring constant k. After being connected, both springs are stretched an amount L and their free ends are anchored at y=0 and x= (plus minus)L as shown (Intro 1 figure) . The point where the springs are connected to each other is now pulled to the position (x,y). Assume that (x,y) lies in the first quadrant. a) What is the potential energy of the two-spring system after the point of connection has been moved to position (x,y)? Keep in mind that the unstretched length of each spring l is much less than L and can be ignored. Express the potential in terms of k, x, y, and L. b) Find the force F on the junction point, the point where the two springs are attached to each other. Express F as a vector in terms of the unit vectors x and y. 2. Relevant equations F=kx 3. The attempt at a solution I don't quite understand how to approach this problem. Do we treat the 2 springs as a single system or 2 springs? Wouldn't the springs stretch by different lengths if the center point is pulled in (x,y) direction? Any help would be great! Thanks!