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Two masses attached with a spring.

1. Two masses M1 and M2 are joined by a massless spring of force constant k and unstretched length a. Obtain the normal coordinates of the system for motion along the line joining the particles, as well as the normal frequencies of vibration.


http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=33voh6v&s=7

Here is the picture given with the problem, it includes x distances from the wall. I'm not totally sure if the mass m1 is connected to the wall, or resting on a floor, as it doesn't say anything about that in the problem.

I'm not totally sure what "normal coordinates" are either. I'm just assuming the masses are only attached to each other, not the wall, and that "normal coordinates" is another way of saying "find the position/x value", which would explain the given x's.

Thank you!
 
104
0
To begin with....

first, write down the basic equation for the motion of the particles individually!!

What do u get??
 
I don't understand. The problem doesn't say anything about a force being applied to the spring system.
 

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