Free Books

Energy Conservation in the Mass-Spring System

Recall that Newton's second law applied to a mass-spring system, as in §B.1.4, yields


$\displaystyle f_m(t) + f_k(t) = 0, \quad \forall t,
$

which led to the differential equation obeyed by the mass-spring system:

$\displaystyle m{\ddot x}(t) + k\,x(t) = 0 \quad \forall t
$

Multiplying through by $ {\dot x}(t)=v(t)$ gives
\begin{eqnarray*}
0
&=& m{\ddot x}(t){\dot x}(t) + k\,x(t){\dot x}(t)\\
&=& m\...
...{d}{dt} \left[ E_m(t) + E_k(t) \right]\\
&=& \frac{d}{dt} E(t).
\end{eqnarray*}
Thus, Newton's second law and Hooke's law imply conservation of energy in the mass-spring system of Fig.B.2.
Next Section:
Conservation of Momentum
Previous Section:
Energy Conservation