A compressed spring has 16 J of potential energy. What's the maximum speed it can impart to a 2 kg object?

Answer: 4.0 m/s

A compressed spring has 16 J of potential energy. What's the maximum speed it can impart to a 2 kg object?

Answer: 4.0 m/s

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Scottsdale, AZ

Use energy conservation. When the object reaches its maximum speed, all the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. So,

(1/2)mv^2 = 16

Plug in m = 2 kg, and solve for v,

v = 4.0 m/s <==Answer

Middletown, CT

Hi Sun;

A joule is kg-m^{2}/s^{2}.

As Robert explained, the equation is...

kinetic energy=(1/2)mv^{2}

16 kg-m^{2}/s^{2}=(1/2)(2 kg)(x m/s)^{2}

The result we want is m/s.

The unit of kg is in the numerator of both sides of the equation. These cancel...

16 kg-m^{2}/s^{2}=(1/2)(2 kg)(x m/s)^{2}

16 m^{2}/s^{2}=(1/2)(2)(x m/s)^{2}

16 m^{2}/s^{2}=(x m/s)^{2}

Let's take the square-root of both sides...

4 m/s=x m/s

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