Physics Help Forum Spring Question

 Kinematics and Dynamics Kinematics and Dynamics Physics Help Forum

 Dec 30th 2009, 03:45 PM #1 Junior Member   Join Date: Dec 2009 Posts: 7 Spring Question Tell me if this question makes any sense. One block moving with velocity v_0 hits a system of two blocks at rest connected by an undeformed spring with spring constant k. Find the minimum distance between the blocks attached to the spring. All masses are of equal mass. I'm not quite sure what to do with this. I don't see what's limiting the distance between the blocks.
 Dec 30th 2009, 07:31 PM #2 Senior Member   Join Date: Sep 2009 Location: india Posts: 409 (v0/3)* root over(m/k) ?
 Dec 30th 2009, 11:27 PM #3 Physics Team   Join Date: Feb 2009 Posts: 1,425 I agree with you. However, if we stretch the problem a bit and assume that the second mass of the spring mass system is fixed, then you could work out the initial k.e. of the two blocks and equate it to the final elastic p.e. when they stop, i.e. K.E. = 0.5 k x ^2. If L is the initial length of the spring, then the min distance would be L - x.

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