# Questions tagged [spring]

An object such as a metal coil or air-filled tube which provides a force opposing the direction of deformation.

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### Slinky base does not immediately fall due to gravity

Why does the base of this slinky not fall immediately to gravity? My guess is tension in the springs is a force > mass*gravity but even then it is dumbfounding.
146k views

### Is the spring constant $k$ changed when you divide a spring into parts?

I've always been taught that the spring constant $k$ is a constant — that is, for a given spring, $k$ will always be the same, regardless of what you do to the spring. My friend's physics ...
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### Why does my bumper scrape when driving fast over a bump but not slow?

When driving my car over a bump or a quick change in gradient (from flat to uphill or downhill to flat), if I don't drive slowly and the bump/change in gradient is large enough, I'll end up with my ...
5k views

### Stretch length of horizontal and vertical springs

If the spring in Figure A is stretched a distance d, how far will the spring in Figure B stretch? The spring constants are the same. The answer is "by half". I don't get it, to me it's the same.
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### Why do my experimental data for Hooke’s law not match the expected data?

As we all know, force applied to a spring is directly proportional to the extension of spring as shown below: However, my experimental results for a simple spring from a school laboratory don't match ...
9k views

### Why is the potential energy of a spring the same when it is compressed and stretched?

I'm giving a high school lecture and I want to introduce the potential energy of a spring. My students have not learned the Hooke's Law and the notion of integral is too advanced. I'm really trying to ...
10k views

### Why don't they use springs as an energy source for cell phones?

I know they used springs for clocks way back in the day and now it's all lithium ion batteries. For reference, consider the Iphone that has a battery with a capacity of 5 Watt hours (18,000 joules). ...
978 views

### Why does a flat sheet roll back into a cylinder when having rolled it once?

For example, if you were to roll a piece of paper into the shape of a hollow cylinder and then try to return the paper to its original, flat shape, it would naturally roll to the cylinder when you let ...
7k views

### Is there a deep reason why springs combine like capacitors?

I was solving a practice Physics GRE and there was a question about springs connected in series and parallel. I was too lazy to derive the way the spring constants add in each case. But I knew how ...
106k views

### Why does a ball bounce lower?

If a ball hits the floor after an acceleration then why does it bounces lower? I mean the Energy is passed to the floor then why does the floor give back less Energy?
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### How is potential energy actually stored in a steel spring at the atomic level?

Elasticity is one the most intriguing phenomena, wiki gives a summary explanation of what happens in a steel spring: the atomic lattice changes size and shape when forces are applied (energy is ...
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### Will slinky length be different on the moon?

If we hold one end of a slinky and leave other end free, the earth's gravity applies force on the slinky and it expands. If we do the same on the moon with the same slinky, will the acquired height of ...
6k views

### How much work can a force on a spring do? (Why are two methods wrong?)

This was a question my friend found in a book. A block attached to a spring pulled by a constant horizontal force is kept on a smooth horizontal surface. Initially the spring is in its natural state. ...
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### Can Hooke's law be derived?

Can we derive Hooke's law from the theory of elasticity? I know it is not a fundamental law and therefore can be derived from more basic considerations.
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### Why can all solutions to the simple harmonic motion equation be written in terms of sines and cosines?

The defining property of SHM (simple harmonic motion) is that the force experienced at any value of displacement from the mean position is directly proportional to it and is directed towards the mean ...
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### Understanding transverse oscillation in 1 mass, 2 spring systems

Lately I have been working through some nice problems on mass-spring systems. There are tons of different configurations - multiple masses, multiple springs, parallel/series, etc. A few possible ...
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### Forget Hooke's law. Why does a spring exert a force?

Forgetting Hooke's law for a minute why, from a microscopic perspective (preferably quantum) on up to a macroscopic one, does a spring under tension exert a force? I was thinking that there might be ...
13k views

### Why does a spring lose its energy when compressed for a long time?

Why does a spring lose a part of its energy when compressed for a long period of time? Is it because the material gets bent?
4k views

### What will be different if the spring is not massless?

In almost all text, it uses the massless spring as example to illustrate the idea of elastic potential energy. I wonder what's really being changed if we consider the mass of the spring? I saw a ...
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### Nonlinear spring $F=-kx^3$

A nonlinear spring whose restoring force is given by $F=-kx^3$ where $x$ is the displacement from equilibrium , is stretched a distance $A$. Attached to its end is a mass $m$. Calculate....(I can do ...
890 views

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### Center of mass of heavy spring

If a heavy spring of uniform density and mass $m$ is hung vertically so that it is stretched by gravity under its own weight, where is the center of mass? I have had a few people tell me it is 1/2 ...
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### Do two springs compressed springs placed against each other obey Newton's third law?

I've been mulling over the following scenario. Say I take two springs whose force is given by some well-defined function of position (for example, Hooke's law F=kx will do). Using this law, I choose ...
429 views

### Doesn't the work $W = \int F \, dx$ count only the work done by the outermost point of a spring?

When we use the integral to calculate the work done by the spring force, then according to my interpretation, we are only calculating the work done by the outermost point on the spring. Why don't we ...
183 views

### How come the formula $W=Fd$ doesn't apply for energy stored in springs?

I always thought that work is like the energy transferred and it is given by $W=Fd$, but this concept gets problematic for springs. If the force $F$ is applied to a spring which compresses it by a ...