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The intricacies of spring expansion

  1. Oct 29, 2004 #1

    I don't know how to solve this problem:

    2 identical pieces of steel wire of equal length were used to manufacture 2 springs. Diameter of the 1st spring coil was d, diameter of second was 2d. Both springs were then loaded with equal masses. As a result, the first spring stretched to 1/10 of its initial length.
    What was the percent elongation of the 2nd spring?

    I've found (through arc-length integration of two space-curves) that the two coils are in a length ratio of [tex]\frac{\sqrt{5}}{\sqrt{2}}[\tex]. Now what? I don't know how a change in coil length affects the spring constant. I'm quite sure that the spring constant is different for the double-diameter coil, but don't know how it differs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 30, 2004
  2. jcsd
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