Class 27 Notes

# Class 27 Notes - An ideal spring provides a restoring...

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11/30/09 Oregon State University PH 201, Lecture #27 An ideal spring provides a restoring force (a vector) directed opposite to the spring’s displacement relative to its equilibrium point. In other words: F = – kx What does this mean? It means that the farther we displace (compress or stretch) the spring from its rest (equilibrium) state, the more force we must exert to do that: Half the distance displaced needs half the force. Five times the displacement needs fi ve times the force, etc. The spring constant , k , is characteristic of the spring itself— measuring its strength or “stiffness.” What are the units of k ?

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11/30/09 Oregon State University PH 201, Lecture #27 Suppose you stretch (or compress) an object on a spring, then release it and observe its motion. Q: Where is the magnitude of its acceleration a maximum—and where is it a minimum? A: The maximum acceleration of a mass oscillating on a spring occurs at the extremities of its motion (i.e. where x = ± A ), because that’s where the force is a maximum.
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