SAT® Subject Test in Physics

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Moderate

Red and Blue Mass Spring Energy

SATPHY-XFM4YY

The figure below shows the same ideal spring in three different situations.

First, without a mass hanging, the spring is unstretched.

Next with the blue mass hanging, the spring stretches.

Finally, with the red mass hanging, the spring stretches twice as much as it did with the blue mass.

How much energy does the hanging red mass store in the spring-mass system, compared to the amount of energy the hanging blue mass stores in the spring-mass system?

Created for Albert.io. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

A

The red mass stores twice as much energy as the blue mass.

B

The red mass stores fours times as much energy as the blue mass.

C

The red mass stores half as much energy as the blue mass.

D

The red mass stores about 1.4 times as much energy as the blue mass.

E

We cannot determine how much energy the red mass stores compared to the blue mass, because we do not know the unstretched length of the spring.