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Homework Help: Work done by a swinging spring-like object [not homework]

  1. Jan 19, 2010 #1
    This isn't a homework problem, I'm just wondering: if you had a spring like object like a rubber band or just a spring, and attached something to its end and swung it across (like swinging a vine to get across a river), how do you compute the work? is it just -kx^2? where x is the displacement from the spring unstretched to its stretched state?

    thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 19, 2010 #2
    when you say work what do you mean. Do you meant he energy of the system? Do you mean the work done by gravity?
     
  4. Jan 19, 2010 #3
    oh , I meant the work done by the spring-like object

    thanks!
     
  5. Jan 19, 2010 #4

    ideasrule

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    Homework Helper

    Yes, the work done by the rubber band alone is -kx^2.
     
  6. Jan 19, 2010 #5
    thanks , I thought so intuitively.. but I need to think about the definition of work. So, work is the displacement multiplied by the force done in the same direction.. and since the stretching or compressing on a spring is always on the same "axis" as the spring force, we can just say -k or k right?
     
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