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Unformatted text preview: n Mass-Spring Motio Name: Teammates: Introduction Consider the case of a mass on a frictionless table that is attached to the end of a spring (Fig 1). If the mass is displaced by a very small amount so that the spring is either compressed or extended, the force it experiences is given by: F = - kx where x is the displacement of the mass from the equilibrium position and k, the spring constant. The spring constant is determined by such factors as the type and thickness of material used in the spring. This equation has two very distinctive qualities. The first of these has to do with the direction of the force. If the mass is displaced in the positive x- direction, then the force is in the negative direction. If the mass is displaced in the negative x-direction, then the force becomes positive. Therefore, at all times, the force of the spring on the mass is toward the equilibrium position of x = 0. The second of these has to do with the magnitude of the force. As the mass is displaced a further distance from equilibrium, the force increases in a linear fashion. This means that the strongest force on the mass will be experienced while the mass is farthest from equilibrium and the weakest when it is near the equilibrium point. Hence, we expect the velocity to be changing the most while the mass is far away from equilibrium and very little as it is passing through the equilibrium point. The result of this is while the mass is far away from equilibrium and very little as it is passing through the equilibrium point....
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