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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 3 Conservation of Mechanical Energy II: Springs, Rotational Kinetic Energy 18 3 Conservation of Mechanical Energy II: Springs, Rotational Kinetic Energy A common mistake involving springs is using the length of a stretched spring when the amount of stretch is called for. Given the length of a stretched spring, you have to subtract off the length of that same spring when it is neither stretched nor compressed to get the amount of stretch. Spring Potential Energy is the potential energy stored in a spring that is compressed or stretched. The spring energy depends on how stiff the spring is and how much it is stretched or compressed. The stiffness of the spring is characterized by the force constant of the spring, k . k is also referred to as the spring constant for the spring. The stiffer the spring, the bigger its value of k is. The symbol x is typically used to characterize the amount by which a spring is compressed or stretched. It is important to note that x is not the length of the stretched or compressed spring. Instead, it is the difference between the length of the stretched or compressed spring and the length of the spring when it is neither stretched nor compressed. The amount of energy U S stored in a spring with a force constant (spring constant) k that has either been stretched by an amount x or compressed by an amount x is: 2 2 1 s x k U = (3-1) Rotational Kinetic Energy...
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