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Two masses on a spring...

  1. Apr 5, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Two masses A, and B both sit on a vertical spring. If the spring is compressed then released, why do A and B rise to the same height? (the mass of A is greater than that of B)

    2. Relevant equations
    P = mgh
    S = 1/2kx2
    K = 1/2mv2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Both masses rise to the same height, I treated the two blocks as a system, because the spring propels them both in the air. Why is this? How much energy does each block have?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2016 #2

    haruspex

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    Would you expect them to be travelling at the same speed when contact with the spring is lost?
     
  4. Apr 5, 2016 #3
    Intuitively yes?
     
  5. Apr 5, 2016 #4

    haruspex

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    Ok, so using the SUVAT equations, what determines the height to which a projectile rises?
     
  6. Apr 6, 2016 #5
    Initial velocity
     
  7. Apr 6, 2016 #6

    haruspex

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    Putting that together with your answer in post #3, does that answer your question?
     
  8. Apr 6, 2016 #7
    Yes! But from an energy point of view, mass A has more energy right?
     
  9. Apr 6, 2016 #8

    haruspex

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    Yes.
     
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