A spring with a constant of #12 (kg)/s^2# is lying on the ground with one end attached to a wall. An object with a mass of #8 kg# and speed of #3 m/s# collides with and compresses the spring until it stops moving. How much will the spring compress?
1 Answer
May 13, 2016
Explanation:
Consider the inital and final conditions of the two objects (namely, spring and mass):

Initially:
Spring is at lying at rest, potential energy =#0#
Mass is moving, kinetic energy =#1/2mv^2# 
Finally:
Spring is compressed, potential energy =#1/2kx^2#
Mass is stopped, kinetic energy = 0
Using conservation of energy (if no energy is dissipated into the surroundings), we have: