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Old Dec 6th 2018, 02:09 AM   #1
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Spring oscillation problem

The questions reads: two masses oscillate on light springs. The second is half the first mass, with twice the spring constant of the first. Which system will have greater frequency, and what is the ratio of the frequency of the second mass to the first.

I have T1=2pi x sq rt of m/k
T2=2pi x sq rt of (m/2)/2k=2pi x sq rt m/4k



I've looked at the answer key and the next step has T2=2pi/2 x sq rt m/k, but i'm not seeing how it got there. I assume it's an algebraic process that I don't understand, can anyone help?
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Old Dec 6th 2018, 04:01 AM   #2
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The first part seems correct to me.

Originally Posted by xenu View Post
Which system will have greater frequency, and what is the ratio of the frequency of the second mass to the first.

I've looked at the answer key and the next step has T2=2pi/2 x sq rt m/k, but i'm not seeing how it got there. I assume it's an algebraic process that I don't understand, can anyone help?
Frequency is related to the period:

$\displaystyle T = \frac{1}{f}$

Therefore, the ratio of the frequencies is

$\displaystyle \frac{f_2}{f_1} = \frac{T_1}{T_2} = \frac{2 \pi \sqrt{\frac{m}{k}}}{2 \pi \sqrt{\frac{m}{4k}}}$

Have a go at simplifying this to a nicer form...
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Old Dec 6th 2018, 04:13 AM   #3
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I got it now, the issue was I didn't realize I could split the sq. root to get like terms. Thanks
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