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# 9/20/2014

POTENTIAL ENERGY

POTENTIAL ENERGY
Due: 11:59pm on Wednesday, September 10, 2014
To understand how points are awarded, read the Grading Policy for this assignment.

Item 1
Consider a spring, with spring constant k, one end of which is attached to a wall. The spring is
initially unstretched, with the unconstrained end of the spring at position x = 0.

Part A
The spring is now compressed so that the unconstrained end moves from x
W =

xf
xi

= 0

to x

= L

F (x ) dx ,

## find the work done by the spring as it is compressed.

Express the work done by the spring in terms of k and L.

## Hint 1. Spring force as a function of position

The spring force vector F as a function of displacement x from the spring's equilibrium position, is given by

^
F = kx i

where k is the spring constant and ^i is a unit vector in the direction of the displacement of the spring (in this case, towards the right).

## Hint 2. Integrand of the work integral

The work done by the spring is given by the integral of the dot product of the spring force and an infinitesimal displacement of the end of the
spring:
W =

xf
xi

F (x ) dx =

xf
xi

F (x) ^
i dx ,

where the infinitesmal displacement vector dx has been written as ^i dx. Write F (x)
in terms of given quantities, and then compute the dot

.)

= 1

^
F (x) i dx

## Hint 3. Upper limit of the work integral

The lower limit of the work integral will be at xi

## . What will be the integral's upper limit?

= 0

xf

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POTENTIAL ENERGY

k
2

Correct

Item 2
A hammer of mass M is moving at speed v 0 when it strikes a nail of negligible mass that is stuck in a wooden block. The hammer is observed to drive the
nail a distance L deeper into the block.

Part A
Find the magnitude F of the force that the wooden block exerts on the nail, assuming that this force is independent of the depth of penetration of the

nail into the wood. You may also assume that v 0 2gL, so that the change in the hammer's gravitational potential energy, as it drives the nail into
the block, is insignificant.
Express the magnitude of the force in terms of M , v 0 , and L .

## Hint 1. How to approach the problem

One way to solve this problem is to use the work-energy theorem. To stop the hammer from moving, the wooden block-nail system must do a
certain amount of work on the hammer. One expression for this amount of work involves F and the displacement of the hammer. In addition, the
work-energy theorem implies that the initial kinetic energy of the hammer plus the work done on the hammer must equal the final kinetic energy
of the hammer. This gives another expression for the work done that involves only the change in kinetic energy of the hammer. Equate the two
expressions for the work done and solve for F .

## Hint 2. Find the work done in terms of F

The work-energy theorem connects the work needed to stop the hammer with the change in the hammer's kinetic energy. Find the work W done
on the hammer by the nail. Don't forget to consider the sign of your answer.
W

What is K f

Ki

## Express your answer in terms of M and v 0 .

K f Ki

2

M (v 0 )
2L

Correct

Part B
Now evaluate the magnitude of the holding force of the wooden block on the nail by assuming that the force necessary to pull the nail out is the same as
that needed to drive it in, which we just derived. Assume a relatively heavy M = 0.5 kg hammer (about 18 ounces), moving with speed v 0 = 10 m/s.
(If such a hammer were swung this hard upward and released, it would rise 5 m). Take the penetration depth L to be 2 cm, which is appropriate for one
hit on a relatively heavy construction nail.
1 lb = 4.45 N

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.)

lb = 4.45 N

|F |

= 281 lb

Correct

Item 3
A block of weight mg sits on an inclined plane as shown. A force of magnitude F is applied to pull
the block up the incline at constant speed. The coefficient of kinetic friction between the plane and
the block is .

Part A
What is the total work Wf ric done on the block by the force of friction as the block moves a distance L up the incline?
Express the work done by friction in terms of any or all of the variables , m , g , , L, and F .

## Hint 1. How to start

Draw a free-body force diagram showing all real forces acting on the block.

## Hint 2. Find the magnitude of the friction force

Write an expression for the magnitude Ff ric of the friction force.
Express your answer in terms of any or all of the variables , m , g , and .

## Hint 1. Find the magnitude of the normal force

What is the magnitude N of the normal force?
Express your answer in terms of m , g , and .
N

F f ric

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Wf ric

(mgLcos)

Correct

Part B
What is the total work WF done on the block by the applied force F as the block moves a distance L up the incline?
Express your answer in terms of any or all of the variables , m , g , , L, and F .
WF

FL

Correct
Now the applied force is changed so that instead of pulling the block up the incline, the force pulls the block down the incline at a constant speed.

Part C
What is the total work Wf ric done on the block by the force of friction as the block moves a distance L down the incline?
Express your answer in terms of any or all of the variables , m , g , , L, and F .
Wf ric

(mgLcos)

Correct

Part D
What is the total work WF done on the box by the appled force in this case?
Express your answer in terms of any or all of the variables , m , g , , L, and F .
WF

FL

Correct

Item 4
h

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Six pendulums of various masses m are released from various heights h above a tabletop, as shown in the figures below. All the pendulums have the same
length and are mounted such that at the vertical position their lowest points are the height of the tabletop and just do not strike the tabletop when released.
Assume that the size of each bob is negligible.

Part A
Rank each pendulum on the basis of its initial gravitational potential energy (before being released) relative to the tabletop.
Rank from largest to smallest To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

## Hint 1. Gravitational potential energy

Gravitational potential energy U is defined as the product of the mass of the object, the acceleration due to gravity, and the height of the object
above a reference level, summarized as
.

U = mgh

## Incorrect; correct answer withheld by instructor

Part B
Rank each pendulum on the basis of the maximum kinetic energy it attains after release.
Rank from largest to smallest To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

## Hint 1. Kinetic energy

Each pendulum begins at rest (i.e., kinetic energy of zero). The maximum kinetic energy for a pendulum will occur when it is at the lowest point
in its motion. At this point, all of the pendulums will be the same height above the tabletop. The kinetic energy then will equal the change in
potential energy from the initial point to the point just above the tabletop.

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## Incorrect; correct answer withheld by instructor

Part C
Rank each pendulum on the basis of its maximum speed.
Rank from largest to smallest To rank items as equivalent, overlap them.

## Hint 1. The role of mass

Both kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy are proportional to mass. Thus, a pendulum with larger mass has a larger potential energy
upon release, and a larger kinetic energy at its lowest point. Since the kinetic energy is equal to the change in potential energy, you may write
down the equation mgh = 1 /2 mv 2 . Notice that mass may be canceled from both sides. Thus, the final speed depends upon the change in
height but is independent of mass.
The situation is similar to that of an object in free fall. In free fall, although larger masses are acted upon by a larger gravitational force, a larger
mass also has more inertia. These two effects cancel out. All objects fall with the same acceleration, and therefore reach the same velocity after
falling equal distances.

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Correct

Item 5
A baseball is thrown directly upward at time t = 0 and is caught again at time t = 5 s. Assume that air resistance is so small that it can be ignored and that
the zero point of gravitational potential energy is located at the position at which the ball leaves the thrower's hand.

Part A
Sketch a graph of the kinetic energy of the baseball.

## Hint 1. Determine the sign of the initial kinetic energy

At the instant the ball leaves the thrower's hand, is its kinetic energy positive, negative, or zero?
positive
negative
zero

## Hint 2. The shape of the kinetic energy graph

The ball's speed decreases linearly from its initial value, which we can denote by v 0 , because of the constant acceleration due to gravity. The
velocity of the ball can be described by the equation
.

v(t) = v 0 gt

Since kinetic energy depends on the square of velocity, how does the kinetic energy vary with time?
Also, note that the ball reaches its maximum height halfway between the time that it leaves the thrower's hand and the moment it is caught. What
is the speed of the ball when it reaches the maximum height?

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Part B
Based on the graph of kinetic energy given (gray curve in the graphing window), sketch a graph of the baseball's gravitational potential energy.

## Hint 1. Initial gravitational potential energy

The point at which the ball leaves the thrower's hand is defined to be the origin of the y axis, and the gravitational potential energy of the ball
depends on the ball's height above the origin.

## Hint 2. The shape of the gravitational potential energy graph

The potential energy of the ball is proportional to its height, and the height of the ball can be described by the equation
h(t) = v0 t

1
2

gt

## Hint 3. Using conservation of energy

Since there are no nonconservative forces acting on the ball, the total energy must remain the same throughout the motion. Therefore, your
graph of potential energy should be shaped such that potential energy plus kinetic energy does not change during the motion.

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Part C
Based on the kinetic and potential energy graphs given, sketch a graph of the baseball's total energy.

## Hint 1. Total energy

The total energy of the baseball is the sum of its kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy.

Correct

Item 6

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A block of weight w sits on a plane inclined at an angle as shown. The coefficient of kinetic
friction between the plane and the block is .

## A force F is applied to push the block up the incline at constant speed.

Part A
What is the work Wf done on the block by the force of friction as the block moves a distance L up the incline?
Express your answer in terms of some or all of the following: , w , , L .

## Hint 1. A formula for work

The work done by a constant force is given by the dot product of the force vector with the vector representing the displacement over which the
force is applied.

## Hint 2. Find the magnitude of the frictional force

What is the magnitude f f of the frictional force?

## Hint 1. Compute the normal force

Find the magnitude n of the normal force on the block.
n

f

Wf

(mgcosL)

## Incorrect; correct answer withheld by instructor

Part B
What is the work W done by the applied force of magnitude F ?
Express your answer in terms of some or all of the following: , w , , L .
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W

F L

## Incorrect; correct answer withheld by instructor

Part C
What is the change in the potential energy of the block, U , after it has been pushed a distance L up the incline?
Express your answer in terms of some or all of the following: , w , , L .
U

wLsin

Correct

Now the applied force is changed so that instead of pulling the block up the incline, the force F pulls the block down the incline at a constant speed.

Part D
What is the change in potential energy of the block, U , as it moves a distance L down the incline?
Express your answer in terms of some or all of the following: , w , , L .
U

wsin()L

Correct

Part E
What is the work W done by the applied force of magnitude F ?
Express your answer in terms of some or all of the following: , w , , L .
W

(wsin() wcos())L

Correct

Part F
W

f
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## What is the work Wf done on the block by the frictional force?

Express your answer in terms of some or all of the following: , w , , L .
Wf

wLcos()

Correct

Item 7
Look at this applet. It shows an elevator with a small initial upward velocity being raised by a cable. The tension in the cable is constant. The energy bar
graphs are marked in intervals of 600 J.

Part A
What is the mass m of the elevator? Use g

= 10 m/s

## Hint 1. Using the graphs

Think about which graph(s) show energies that are directly related to the mass of the elevator. There may be more than one. You would like to
get the most accurate number you can, so choose the graph that you can read most accurately.

## Hint 2. Needed formula

Recall that the gravitational potential energy U near the earth's surface is given by U

## , where m is the mass of the object, g is the

= mgh

magnitude of the gravitational acceleration, and h is the height above the ground.

m

= 60

kg

Correct

Part B
Find the magnitude of the tension T in the cable. Be certain that the method you are using will be accurate to two significant figures.

## Hint 1. How to approach the problem

In the previous part, you could use the graph of potential energy to determine the mass to two significant figures, because when the elevator
stopped, the top of the potential energy bar lay right on one of the grid lines. In this problem, you could use the graph of work to find the tension,
but since it lies somewhere between the grid lines, it is unlikely that you could determine the tension to the necessary accuracy. However, it is a
good way to get an estimate with which to check your answer.
The numerical data given in the window beneath the graphs do have two significant figures of accuracy, and thus they could be used in
combination with the data in the graph of the final energy to get a more accurate value for the work done on the elevator. Recall, in fact, that the
work done on the elevator by the tension must equal the change in mechanical energy of the system.

## Hint 2. Find the change in mechanical energy

From the information given in the applet and the information found in Part A, determine the change in the total mechanical energy of the system
E .

## Hint 1. Find the initial mechanical energy

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Assuming that the potential energy of the elevator at the instant when you run the simulation is zero, what is the initial mechanical energy
E initial of the system?

## Hint 1. Definition of mechanical energy

Recall that the mechanical energy of a system is defined as the sum of kinetic energy and potential energy,
E = K + U.
Note that, at the instant when you run the simulation, the potential energy U of the elevator is zero. Thus, the total initial
mechanical energy of the system is simply given by the initial kinetic energy of the elevator K = (1/2)mv 2 , which can be
evaluated from the information about the mass of the elevator found in Part A, and the information about the initial speed of the
elevator given in the window beneath the bar graphs in the applet.
=

E initial

E

T

= 480

Correct

Item 8
A 115kg mail bag hangs by a vertical rope 4.0m long. A postal worker then displaces the bag to a position 2.2m sideways from its original position, always
keeping the rope taut.

Part A
What horizontal force is necessary to hold the bag in the new position?
F

= 740

Correct

Part B
As the bag is moved to this position, how much work is done by the rope?
W

= 0

Correct

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Part C
As the bag is moved to this position, how much work is done by the worker?
Wworker

## Incorrect; correct answer withheld by instructor

Item 9
A spring-loaded toy gun is used to shoot a ball of mass m = 1.50 kg straight up in the air, as shown in the figure. The spring has spring constant
k = 667 N/m. If the spring is compressed a distance of 25.0 centimeters from its equilibrium
position y = 0 and then released, the ball reaches a maximum height hmax (measured from the
equilibrium position of the spring). There is no air resistance, and the ball never touches the inside
of the gun. Assume that all movement occurs in a straight line up and down along the y axis.

Part A
Which of the following statements are true?
Check all that apply.

## Hint 1. Nonconservative forces

Dissipative, or nonconservative, forces are those that always oppose the motion of the object on which they act. Forces such as friction and drag
are dissipative forces.

## Hint 2. Forces acting on the ball

The ball is acted on by the spring force only when the two are in contact. The force of tension in the spring is a conservative force. Also, the ball
is always acted on by gravity, which is also a conservative, or nondissipative, force.
Mechanical energy is conserved because no dissipative forces perform work on the ball.
The forces of gravity and the spring have potential energies associated with them.
No conservative forces act in this problem after the ball is released from the spring gun.

Correct

Part B
Find v m the muzzle velocity of the ball (i.e., the velocity of the ball at the spring's equilibrium position y

).

= 0

## Hint 1. Determine how to approach the problem

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What physical relationship can you use to solve this problem? Choose the best answer.
kinematics equations
Newton's second law
law of conservation of energy
conservation of momentum

## Hint 2. Energy equations

Recall that kinetic energy is given by the equation
1

mv

## where v is the speed of the object and m is the object's mass.

Gravitational potential energy is given by
mgy

= 0

## The elastic potential energy of a spring is given by

1
2

kx

where k is the spring constant and x is the spring's displacement from equilibrium.

## Hint 3. Determine which two locations you should examine

Pick the two points along the ball's path that would be most useful to compare in order to find the solution to this problem. Choose from among
the following three points:
Check all that apply.
y = 25 cm

## , the equilibrium position of the spring.

y = 0

y = hmax

, the maximum height that the ball reaches above the point y

= 0

## Hint 4. Find the initial energy of the system

A useful statement of mechanical energy conservation relating the initial and final kinetic (K ) and potential (U ) energies is
K initial + U initial = K f inal + U f inal

= 25.0 cm

= 0

## of energy does the system "spring-ball" have at the initial position?

kinetic only
elastic potential only
gravitational potential only
kinetic and gravitational potential
kinetic and elastic potential
elastic and gravitational potentials

## Hint 5. Determine the final energy

A useful statement of mechanical energy conservation relating the initial and final kinetic (K ) and potential (U ) energies is
K initial + U initial = K f inal + U f inal

= 25.0 cm

= 0

## of energy does the system "spring-ball" have at the final position?

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kinetic only
elastic potential only
gravitational potential only
kinetic and gravitational potential
kinetic and elastic potential
elastic and gravitational potentials

## Hint 6. Creating an equation

From the hints you now know what kinds of energy are present at the initial and final positions chosen for the ball in this part of the problem. You
also know that
K initial + U initial = K f inal + U f inal.
It has been determined that K initial is zero and U initial consists of two terms: gravitational potential energy and elastic potential energy. In
addition, U f inal is zero.

vm

= 4.78

m/s

Correct

Part C
Find the maximum height hmax of the ball.

## Hint 1. Choose two locations to examine

Pick the two points along the ball's movement that would be most useful to compare in order to find a solution to this problem. Choose from
among the following three points:
Check all that apply.
y = 25 cm

y = 0

y = hmax

= 0

## Hint 2. Find the initial energy

A useful statement of mechanical energy conservation is
K inital + U initial = K f inal + U f inal

## Recall that in the problem statement, y

location is at y

= 25 cm

= 0

is set to correspond to the equilibrium position of the spring. Therefore, in this situation, the initial

## and the final position should be taken as y

= hmax

What kind(s) of energy does the ball have at the initial location?

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kinetic only
elastic potential only
gravitational potential only
kinetic and gravitational potential
kinetic and elastic potential
elastic and gravitational potentials

## Hint 3. Determine the final energy

A useful statement of mechanical energy conservation is

have at y

= hmax

= 25 cm

= hmax

## . What kind(s) of energy does the ball

Hint 1. Find the speed of the ball at the top of its trajectory
What is the speed v top of the ball at the top of its trajectory?

## Hint 1. Motion in the vertical direction

Recall from kinematics that a ball travels upward until its speed decreases to zero, at which point it starts falling back to Earth.
v top

m/s

kinetic only
elastic potential only
gravitational potential only
kinetic and gravitational potential
kinetic and elastic potential
elastic and gravitational potentials

## Hint 4. Creating an equation

From the above hints, you now know what kind of energy is present at the inital and final positions chosen for the ball in this part of the problem.
You know that
K initial + U initial = K f inal + U f inal.
It was determined that K initial is zero and that U initial consists of two terms: gravitational potential energy and elastic potential energy. In
addition, K f inal is zero.

hmax

= 1.17

Correct
In this problem you practiced applying the law of conservation of mechanical energy to a physical situation to find the muzzle velocity and the
maximum height reached by the ball.

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Part D
Which of the following actions, if done independently, would increase the maximum height reached by the ball?
Check all that apply.
reducing the spring constant k
increasing the spring constant k
decreasing the distance the spring is compressed
increasing the distance the spring is compressed
decreasing the mass of the ball
increasing the mass of the ball
tilting the spring gun so that it is at an angle

< 90

## degrees from the horizontal

Correct

Item 10
A force of 600N stretches a certain spring a distance of 0.300m .

Part A
What is the potential energy of the spring when it is stretched a distance of 0.300m ?
U1

= 90.0

Correct

Part B
What is its potential energy when it is compressed a distance of 4.00cm ?
U2

= 1.60

Correct

Item 11
An object of mass m is traveling on a horizontal surface. There is a coefficient of kinetic friction between the object and the surface. The object has speed
v when it reaches x = 0 and encounters a spring. The object compresses the spring, stops, and then recoils and travels in the opposite direction. When the
object reaches x = 0 on its return trip, it stops.

Part A
Find k, the spring constant.
Express k in terms of , m , g , and v .

## Hint 1. Why does the object stop?

Why does the object come to rest when it returns to x

= 0

Although more than one answer may be true of the system, you must choose the answer that explains why the object ultimately
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comes to a stop.
When the object reaches x

= 0

the second time all of its initial energy has gone into the compression and extension of the spring.

## When the object reaches x

= 0

the second time all of its initial energy has been dissipated by friction.

x = 0

At x

is an equilibrium position and at this point the spring exerts no force on the object.

= 0

the force of friction exactly balances the force exerted by the spring on the object.

## Hint 2. How does friction affect the system?

Indicate which of the following statements regarding friction is/are true.
Check all that apply.
Work done by friction is equal to mgd, where m is the mass of an object, g is the magnitude of the acceleration due to gravity,
is the coefficient of kinetic friction, and d is the distance the object has traveled.
Energy dissipated by friction is equal to (1/2)gmt2 , where is the coefficient of friction, g is the acceleration due to gravity, m is
the mass of the object, and t is the amount of time (since encountering the spring) the object has been moving.
Friction is a conservative force.
Work done by friction is exactly equal to the negative of the energy dissipated by friction.

## Hint 3. Energy stored in a spring

The potential energy stored in a spring having constant k that is compressed a distance d is
E spring = F dx =

d
0

kx dx =

1
2

kd

## Hint 4. Compute the compression of the spring

By what distance d does the object compress the spring?
Look at the initial condition when the object originally hits the spring and the final condition when the object returns to x

= 0

## Hint 1. How to approach this question

Use the fact that
E f inal = E initial + Wnonconservative

## Hint 2. The value of E f inal

In its final position, the object is not moving. Also the spring is not compressed. Therefore E f inal

= 0

## Hint 3. Find E initial

What is the value of E initial ?
Express your answer in terms of some or all of the variables m , v , , and d and g , the acceleration due to gravity.

## Hint 1. How to approach this part

Initially the spring is uncompressed, so the only contribution to the system's energy comes from the kinetic energy of the object.
E initial

Wnonconservative
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## Hint 4. Find Wnonconservative

What is the value of Wnonconservative ?
Express your answer in terms of some or all of the variables m , v , , and d and g , the acceleration due to gravity.

## Hint 1. How to approach this part

The only nonconservative force in the system is the frictional force between the object and the surface it's on. If the object moves
through a distance x, the work done by friction Wf riction is

Wf riction = f s = mgx

Wnonconservative

d

## Hint 5. Putting it all together

In the previous part, at the two ends of the motion considered, the spring had no energy, so k was not part of the equation. However, you were
able to find a relation for d in terms of the known quantities. To obtain an equation involving k, use conservation of energy again,
E f inal = E initial + Wnonconservative

but this time, take the initial condition to be the moment when the spring is at its maximum compression and the final condition to be the moment
when the spring returns to x = 0. So now E initial can be written in terms of k and other variables.

## Hint 6. The value of E f inal

The value of E f inal is again zero.

## Hint 7. Find E initial for this part of the motion

What is the value of E initial for this part of the motion?
Express your answer in terms of d and k, the spring constant, so that you end up with an equation containing k.

## Hint 1. How to approach this part

Since the spring is at its maximum compression, the object must be momentarily at rest. So the only contribution to the energy is from the
potential energy of the spring.
E initial

## Hint 8. Find Wnonconservative for this part of the motion

What is the value of Wnonconservative for this part of the motion?
Express your answer in terms of m , , d, and g , the acceleration due to gravity.

## Hint 1. How to approach this part

The only nonconservative force in the system is the frictional force between the object and the surface it's on. If the object moves through
a distance x, the work done by friction Wf riction is

Wf riction = f s = mgx

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POTENTIAL ENERGY

Wnonconservative

8m(

g
v

Correct

Item 12
A 28-kg rock approaches the foot of a hill with a speed of 15 m/s. This hill slopes upward at a constant angle of 40.0 above the horizontal. The coefficients
of static and kinetic friction between the hill and the rock are 0.75 and 0.20, respectively.

Part A
Use energy conservation to find the maximum height above the foot of the hill reached by the rock.
h

= 9.3

Correct

Part B
Will the rock remain at rest at its highest point, or will it slide back down the hill?
remain at rest at its highest point
slide back down the hill

Correct

Part C
If the rock does slide back down, find its speed when it returns to the bottom of the hill.
v

= 12

m/s

Correct

Item 13
A 2.8-kg block slides over the smooth, icy hill shown in the figure . The top of the hill is horizontal and 70 m higher than its base.
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POTENTIAL ENERGY

Part A
What minimum speed must the block have at the base of the hill so that it will not fall into the pit on the far side of the hill?
v min

= 42

m/s

Correct

Item 14
A wooden block with mass 1.60kg is placed against a compressed spring at the bottom of a slope inclined at an angle of 34.0 (point A). When the spring is
released, it projects the block up the incline. At point B , a distance of 5.05m up the incline from A, the block is moving up the incline at a speed of 6.75m/s
and is no longer in contact with the spring. The coefficient of kinetic friction between the block and incline is k = 0.45. The mass of the spring is negligible.

Part A
Calculate the amount of potential energy that was initially stored in the spring.
Take free fall acceleration to be 9.80m/s2 .
U1

= 110

Correct

Item 15
A sled with rider having a combined mass of 130kg travels over the perfectly smooth icy hill shown in the accompanying figure.

Part A
How far does the sled land from the foot of the cliff?
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POTENTIAL ENERGY

d

= 25.5

Correct

Item 16
Part A
Which of the following statements is/are true?
Check all that apply.
The total mechanical energy of a system, at any one instant, is either all kinetic or all potential energy.
The total mechanical energy of a system is equally divided between kinetic and potential energy.
The total mechanical energy of a system is constant only if nonconservative forces act.
The total mechanical energy of a system is constant only if conservative forces act.
Mechanical energy can be dissipated to nonmechanical forms of energy.

## Incorrect; correct answer withheld by instructor

Score Summary:
Your score on this assignment is 109%.
You received 21.76 out of a possible total of 20 points.

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