Springs and acid

cisamcgu

Legendary Member
Location
Merseyside-ish
Picture the following situation

Two flasks of acid, two springs, one clip. One of the springs is compressed and then held compressed by use of the clip. The second spring is left "free". Now both springs are dropped into the flasks of acid. The acid reacts with the metal of the spring, but not the clip, and dissolves the springs, creating a salt and hydrogen.

My question is this : what has happened to the potential energy that was in the compressed spring once the spring has dissolved ? Has it manifested itself as heat ? If not, then what ?



Andrew
 
Ferrous oxide. All the 'energy' has gone into changing size and shape...












Absolute rubbish! Don't know...:smile:
 

domtyler

Über Member
Potential energy is a function of the strength of the spring. The strength of the spring decreases as it is eroded by the acid and thus the potential energy simply diminishes until it is no longer there.
 
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cisamcgu

cisamcgu

Legendary Member
Location
Merseyside-ish
domtyler said:
Potential energy is a function of the strength of the spring. The strength of the spring decreases as it is eroded by the acid and thus the potential energy simply diminishes until it is no longer there.
I'm not sure energy can just "disappear" ....:smile:
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
cisamcgu said:
But it is held by the clip, which does not react with the acid :smile:
I would have thought that there comes a point when the spring no longer has the structural integrity to keep its form, and then it will implode/explode (perhaps both), regardless of the clip.

Like if you tried to hold a slinky with one hand, at one point, and squeezed, it would probably spring out away from your hand - the clip/hand doesn't have to go for the slinky/spring to collapse in someway...
 

domtyler

Über Member
cisamcgu said:
I'm not sure energy can just "disappear" ....:smile:
:wacko:

Foiled again!

I am sure that it will manifest itself as heat, that's what my money would be on anyway. Why don't you just perform the experiment and find out? One beaker with an unclipped spring, one clipped.
 
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cisamcgu

cisamcgu

Legendary Member
Location
Merseyside-ish
Arch said:
I would have thought that there comes a point when the spring no longer has the structural integrity to keep its form, and then it will implode/explode (perhaps both), regardless of the clip.

Like if you tried to hold a slinky with one hand, at one point, and squeezed, it would probably spring out away from your hand - the clip/hand doesn't have to go for the slinky/spring to collapse in someway...

Hmmm... I see what you mean .. OK, change the situation a little, compress the spring and force it into a glass jar so the spring remains compressed and has no chance to move, then fill the jar with acid. What will happen to the potential energy then as the spring dissolves ?

I still think it would heat the acid slightly, compared to a non-compressed one, but I am not at all sure about it though ...
 

Jaded

New Member
The energy is transferred by nano-osmosic acidation to the solution in acid. It is then stored in the solution until the solution dries out. Once the water molecules have evaporated all that is left is the acid molecules and the energy.

If you shuggle the jar so that the acid molecules are on one side and all the energy particles are on the other there will be a critical mass of energy particles and they will jump up out of the jar and bite you on the nose.
 

domtyler

Über Member
It is probably a combination of heat and the natural release of some/most of the potential energy; as the material goes into solution it will create a space for the spring to relax.
 

Canrider

Guru
Again, in the just-fitting-glass-jar case, in the Real World(tm) you'd probably find that as the spring disintegrates, it'll reach a point where it can no longer 'hold' itself against the sides of the jar and deforms, letting go of its 'hold' on the jar, at which point the stored potential energy will enter the solution as movement of particles in the solution, ie, effectively a little bit of heat.

Interesting question.
 
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