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Oscillation of Spring Example
Suppose that four people climb into a car and as a result of their weight, the springs in the car compress a certain displacement. Assuming that we can treat the springs of the car as one spring, we would like to calculate the mass of the four people knowing what the spring stiffness constant is. In order to calculate the mass, we must realize that when the spring compresses, the four people come to static equilibrium. Since there are two forces acting on the people, we set them equal to zero and solve for the mass. In the second part of the example, we are now given the mass of the object and we need to calculate the spring stiffness constant. Once again, we have to equate the gravitational force to the force created by the spring. This will give us an opportunity to solve for the spring stiffness constant, k.
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