Will Block M2 Move Left? Understanding Forces in a Connected Spring System"

In summary: If the mass of the object being compressed is greater than the mass of the object providing the compression force, then the object will be pushed. If the mass of the object being compressed is less than the mass of the object providing the compression force, then the object will be pulled.
  • #1

navneet9431

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Suppose two blocks m1 and m2,connected by a spring are kept on a frictionless surface and the block m1 is applied an external force F.
My teacher taught me that in a spring the force is generated in the direction opposite to the displacement of the spring.
So the spring would generate a force in the left direction as it's displacement would be right.
So my question is that will the block m2 move in the *left* direction or not as a force is getting applied on it in the left direction?
I will be thankful for help!
 

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  • #2
What would happen, if the mass of block ##m_2## would be zero? What would be the force on ##m_1##? Try to apply Newton's 3rd law.
 
  • #3
If mass of m2 is zero then block m1 would just move with acceleration F/m1.
What are you trying to explain?
stockzahn said:
What would happen, if the mass of block ##m_2## would be zero? What would be the force on ##m_1##? Try to apply Newton's 3rd law.
 
  • #4
navneet9431 said:
If mass of m2 is zero then block m1 would just move with acceleration F/m1.
What are you trying to explain?

There only would be a force to the left acting on ##m_1## if there is a "counterforce" acting to the right on ##m_2##. From the perspective of ##m_2## the displacement of the spring would be to the left.
 
  • #5
navneet9431 said:
My teacher taught me that in a spring the force is generated in the direction opposite to the displacement of the spring.
Have you never compressed/stretched a spring with your hands? It should be obvious that it applies two opposite forces at both ends.
 
  • #6
The teacher's question is not tightly enough specified for a rigorous answer. This is not as harmless a fault as you might think because two different people could interpret it in two different ways.
If we assume that the spring is at its equilibrium length then what would cause any movement to the left if the input force F is to the right?
What do we know about the forces at each end of a light spring or a light string?
 
  • #7
navneet9431 said:
My teacher taught me that in a spring the force is generated in the direction opposite to the displacement of the spring.
The spring resists being compressed or being stretched. Here, the spring is compressed and it will exert an outward force at each end.
 

1. What is Block M2 in this context?

Block M2 refers to one of the two blocks connected in a spring system, where the movement of one block affects the movement of the other. It is often used to demonstrate the concept of connected forces and how they interact with each other.

2. How is the spring system connected?

The spring system is connected by a spring that is attached to both blocks. This allows for the transfer of energy and movement between the two blocks.

3. Will Block M2 always move to the left?

The movement of Block M2 depends on the forces acting on the spring system. If the forces are unbalanced, Block M2 may move to the left. However, if the forces are balanced, Block M2 may not move at all or may move in a different direction.

4. What is the significance of understanding forces in a connected spring system?

Understanding forces in a connected spring system is important in many fields of science and engineering. It can help us understand the behavior of objects in motion and how they interact with each other. This knowledge is crucial for designing and building structures and machines that rely on the principles of connected forces.

5. How can I calculate the forces in a connected spring system?

The forces in a connected spring system can be calculated using Hooke's Law, which states that the force exerted by a spring is directly proportional to the displacement of the spring from its equilibrium position. The equation for this is F = -kx, where F is the force, k is the spring constant, and x is the displacement.

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