The spring force

# The spring force - The spring force The force exerted by a...

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The spring force The force exerted by a spring on a mass m can be calculated using Hooke's law F(x) = - k x where k is the spring constant, and x is the amount by which the spring is stretched (x > 0) or compressed (x < 0). When a moving object runs into a relaxed spring it will slow down, come to rest momentarily, before accelerating in a direction opposite to its original direction (see Figure 8.1). While the object is slowing down, it will compress the spring. As the spring is compressed, the kinetic energy of the block is gradually transferred to the spring where it is stored as potential energy. The potential energy of the spring in its relaxed position is defined to be zero. The potential energy of the spring in any other state can be obtained from Hooke's law Suppose the total energy of the ball-spring system is E. Conservation of energy tells us Note that the amount of work done by the spring on the block after it returns to its original position is zero.

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