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ACT Question for April 9th

A physics student is performing an experiment involving a 10-cm-long spring mounted on a tabletop.  The student compresses the spring until its length is 5 cm, as shown in Figure 1, and prepares to release it.  When the spring is released (defined as time 0), the timer that controls the camera is started, and photographs are taken every 0.5 seconds.

The results of the first 3 seconds of the experiment are shown in Table 1.  The student has measured the length of the spring in each photograph, and used the change in length to calculate the potential energy of the spring (relative to its potential value at time 0).

The experiment is designed to determine how:

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Question ID: 5836