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Homework Help: Work done on Spring

  1. Apr 25, 2009 #1


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    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Suppose 2 J is needed to stretch a spring from it's natural length of 35 cm to 42 cm. How much work is needed to stretch it from 35 cm to 40 cm?

    2. Relevant equations
    F = KX

    3. The attempt at a solution

    2 = 12K
    K= 1/6

    Work = Integral from .35 to .4 of (1/6)X
    (1/6)(x^2/2) from .35 to .4.
    .013 - .010 = .033
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2009 #2


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    W=1/2 kx^2

    so from 35 cm to 42 cm, the extension is 7 cm. The work done in this extension is 2J

    find k.

    Now when you get the value for k, find the extension from 35cm to 40cm and put it back into the formula W=1/2kx2
  4. Apr 25, 2009 #3
    Recognising that W is proportional to x^2 you could write the ratio of the known and unknown energies equal to the square of the ratio of the two extensions. The unknown spring constant vanishes in the division so you don't have to worry about calculating it.

    2/W = (0.07)^2 / (0.05)^2
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