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I have a question that, on the surface, appears so simple, I'm
embarrased to ask it. But it's something that has me stumped. Maybe there is
something obvious that I'm overlooking.
We have a horizontal, unstretched spring connected at one end by a
rigid support. I want to apply a force at the other end to stretch the
By the 3rd law, the force I exert to the right (F=kx) will always be equal in
magnitude to the force that the spring exerts back to the left (F=-kx). In
this case, how can there ever be an acceleration of the end of the spring?