According to Wikipedia if the springs connected in series to a block of mass wouldn't be experiencing equal forces then the springs would buckle.What do they mean when it says 'springs would buckle '?Why do they buckle ? How can we understand/accept/feel that springs experience equal forces?

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    $\begingroup$ Well, Newton's third law says "When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body." Does that answer your question? I don't know what is meant in your Wikipedia quote. Can you please add a link to that Wikipedia page to your question? $\endgroup$
    – James
    Feb 10, 2017 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ You need to mention that the springs are massless. If they aren't, then your statement is not true. $\endgroup$
    – Yashas
    Feb 10, 2017 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ -1. If you are disputing some authority (even wikipedia), you should provide a reference to the text which you are disputing. $\endgroup$ Feb 10, 2017 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @sammygerbil I am not disputing,I was unable to understand it so I am trying to understand and never in my question have I written that the statement by Wikipedia is wrong. $\endgroup$ Feb 11, 2017 at 7:35

3 Answers 3


How can we understand/accept/feel that springs experience equal forces?

  • Put a book on a spring on a table. The spring carries the whole weight: $$F_{spring}=w_{book}$$
  • Put a spring on a spring on a table and put a book on top. The top spring carries the weight of the book; the bottom spring carries the weight of the book and the top spring: $$F_{spring,top}=w_{book}\\ F_{spring,bottom}=w_{book}+w_{spring,top}$$

Usually you consider springs to have (negligibly) small masses, so $w_{spring,top}\approx 0$.


Steeven's answer is good and accurately gives an example to help clarify.

I just want to give an answer that points out the parallels between this spring system and an electric circuit.

In series vs. parallel spring configurations, you can compare the force distribution to a current distribution.

In series circuits; the current going through each element in the series must be the same. In springs the force must be the same.

In parallel circuits the sum of all the currents going through each branch must be equal to the total current going into the branches. In parallel springs, the total force from all the springs must equal the total force from the mass.

You know that the spring system has to support the entire weight of the block. In series; the force can only be applied by one spring; so that spring must have force equal to the entire mass (and the spring supporting that spring is only connected at one point; so it must also have force equal to that entire mass). In parallel; there are multiple springs attached to the mass, so they each only have to supply a fraction of the total force to hold the block up.


The buckling up of a spring means that they would compress under their own weight and even though if for a multiple system when mass is connected then the spring compress down with the different "spring coefficients" hence if the coefficients are different then then they could do so.according to force if mass of spring is considered and extra force must be added. Imagine the situation of the suspensions if they don't experience equal forces then the vehicle would not be able to handle shock properly and then it would make us feel different upward forces and eventually we would likely be to fall.


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