# 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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### 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 ...
15k views

### 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.
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### 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.
135k 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 ...
8k 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 ...
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### 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 ...
3k views

### 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 ...
8k 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). ...
96k 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 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 ...
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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 ...
796 views

### Why does the experimental data of Hooke’s law not match with the expected data?

As we all know, force applied to a spring is directly proportional to the extension of spring as shown below : However, the experimental results don't match with it. Why is this happening? I don't ...
2k views

### 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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### 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 ...
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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 ...
288 views

### What can be known about the formulas for energy only from the fact that it is conserved?

The question is to figure out how the energy can be derived knowing just one thing: There is a quantity called Energy that is conserved over time. The goal is to get an equation that somehow ...
11k 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?
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### How far does a trampoline vertically deform based on the mass of the object?

If a baseball is dropped on a trampoline, the point under the object will move a certain distance downward before starting to travel upward again. If a bowling ball is dropped, it will deform further ...
221 views

### Motivating classical wave equation PDE

I'm teaching a geometry course covering spectral problems, using eigenvalues of the Laplace operator for shape analysis ("Can you hear the shape of a drum?"). I thought I'd cover where the wave ...
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### Two mass one-spring system natural frequency

Suppose I have two masses $m_1, \ m_2$ connected by one spring of stiffness $k$ through their centres of mass, lying on a frictionless surface and the system is set into oscillation. I want to find ...
2k views

### Potential energy of a spring

I'm puzzled about the potential energy of a spring. A spring is a conservative system. So the potential energy should be defined only up to a constant -- can be defined to be 0 anywhere. However, ...
163 views

### Conversion of elastic potential energy in free fall

Suppose there is a mass attached to a spring which is hanging from a fixed ceiling. The spring will be elongated and this system has potential energy stored because of the elongation. Now if the ...
412 views

### Is it true that spring has more force acting on it at its positive maximum amplitude than than at the negative one?

Am I missing something? It seems obvious to me that at $+A$ and $-A$, the spring has restorative forces equal in magnitude but opposite in direction. But since gravity is always pulling it down, the ...
7k views

### Is 'restoring force' a particular type of force?

I have a question about the restoring force in elastic band or rope which confusing me for a long time. As I was told in high school physics, for an elastic band (or spring), if Hooke's law holds, we ...
2k views

### Maximum reading after dropping a mass onto a scale

If one drops an object onto a scale, the needle will temporarily spike to a high reading. Given a mass $m$ dropped from a height $h$ above a spring scale, is there a good way to approximate what the ...
2k views

### Is there any tension in a massless spring that connects two free falling bodies in different horizontal planes?

Two bodies A and B of same mass $m$ are attached with a massless spring and are hanging from a ceiling with a massless rope. They are in same vertical plane but not in same horizontal plane. Now the ...
I know that with the formula $T=2\pi\sqrt{\frac{m}{k}}$ the time period is not related to the amplitude. However, would amplitude matter if i do this experiment in real life. Would a greater amplitude ...
Suppose you have a particle of mass $m$ fixed to a spring of mass $m_0$ that, in turn, is fixed to some wall. I'm trying to calculate the effective mass $m'$ that appears in the law of motion of the ...