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Homework Help: What is the ball's maximum acceleration?

  1. Apr 21, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A 160 g ball attached to a spring with spring constant 2.8 N/m oscillates horizontally on a frictionless table. Its velocity is 20 cm/s when x_0 = 4.5 cm.

    a_max = _______ cm/s^2

    2. The attempt at a solution

    Using F = ma and F = kx
    kx = ma
    a = kx/m

    Substituting the appropriate values

    a = (2.8)(4.5)/(.16) = 78.75 cm/s^2

    Am I missing something here?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2009 #2
    check your units. your spring constant is in N/m, while you're speed is in cm/s
  4. Apr 21, 2009 #3

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    That gives you the acceleration at some particular value of x. It will only be a_max when x = x_max.

    How can you find the maximum value of x? Hint: Make use of the speed that was given.
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