PhysicsLAB Practice Problems
Basic Spring Systems

Directions: On this worksheet you will work with the basic relationships for spring systems.

Question 1  

The spring shown above is compressed by Dx from its equilibrium position. When released it launches a block across a frictionless surface with speed of 6 m/sec. The two springs in the following figure are identical to the spring shown above and are also compressed Dx to launch an identical block.

What is the block’s new speed as it passes through equilibrium?
Question 2  The two springs in the following figure are also identical to the initial spring in Question #1 but are compressed Dx equal to 1.5 times the original spring's compression.

If the same block is launched, what is its new speed as it passes through equilibrium?
Question 3  

A spring is attached to a 3-kg block. The other end of the spring is pulled by a motorized toy train that moves forward at 8 cm/s. The spring constant is 82.6 N/m, and the coefficent of static friction between the block and the surface is µs = 0.70. The spring is at its equilibrium length at t = 0 seconds when the train starts to move. At what time does the block initially begin slipping?
Question 4  

The air-track carts in the diagram shown above are sliding to the right at 1.5 m/sec. The spring between them has a spring constant of 82.6 N/m and is compressed 8 cm. At some point, the carts will slide past a flame that will burn through the string holding them together. If cart A has a mass of 600 grams and cart B has a mass of 300 grams, what would be the speed of cart B after the string is burned?
Question 5  One end of a spring is attached to a wall while the other end reaches exactly to the edge of a frictionless table 1 meters tall. A block of mass 1.5 kg is pushed against the spring until it is compressed a distance of 6 cm. The block is released and is launched off the table, striking the ground 82.6 cm away from the table. Air resistance is negligible. What is the spring's force constant?
Question 6  What was the initial acceleration of the block in Question #5?

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