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    Physics: Energy Problems

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    Problem 6: A mass (M=3kg) is placed in front of a spring with k=1200N/m, compressed d=40cm. The spring is released, shooting the mass forward from A to B (frictionless). The mass then travels along a flat surface from B to C (L=20m), with µk=0.1. At C the surface becomes frictionless and smoothly inclines upwards. The speed of the mass at point D is 0m/s.

    a) What is the velocity of the mass at B?

    =____________ vB

    b) What is the velocity of the mass at point C?

    =____________ vC

    c) How high is point D above the flat surface?

    HD =____________

    d) Does the mass make it back to the spring? No credit for simple yes or no answer, must explain why or why not!

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    Solution: As the mass is compressed against the spring, work done in doing so is converted into the potential energy of the compressed spring.

    Energy stored in the compressed spring = U = ½ kx^2 where x = compression in the spring = 0.4 m and k = spring constant = 1200 N/m

    Substituting values, we get: U = ½ (1200)(0.4)^2 = 96 J

    As the mass is released, the PE stored in the spring is ...

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