## Help finding friction force of block moving across horizontal atwood's machine

Basically we did a lab where you attach a pulley to the desk with a clamp and then have a friction block (three types: cork, plastic, and felt) attached to a string which is attached to a hanging mass. This basic setup is called an atwood's machine. The purpose of the lab was to identify the coefficient of friction by determining what hanging mass is needed to move the block at a constant speed.
We did multiple trials with each block, adding different weights to the block and then adding weights to the hanging mass in order to pull the block.
The steps I need to take in order to find the coefficient of the friction (we're trying to find the kinetic friction by the way) are, I believe, find the normal force (which I found), then find the frictional force, then the coefficient using those two.
My problem is finding the frictional force, I do not know any formula's which would allow me to find it without the coefficient of friction, which I need the friction force to find.

I vaguely remember somebody saying that the frictional force is equal to the hanging mass, but I'm not sure that makes sense. Could someone confirm that?

If the data is needed to explain this to me just let me know.

If I was to find the force applied by the hanging mass how would that relate to finding the friction force, is that the right step to be taking?
 Mentor Blog Entries: 1 Since the speed of the block is constant, the net force on it must equal zero. The only horizontal forces acting on the block are the friction force and the string tension, so they must be equal (and opposite). How does the string tension relate to the weight of the hanging mass?

 Quote by Doc Al Since the speed of the block is constant, the net force on it must equal zero. The only horizontal forces acting on the block are the friction force and the string tension, so they must be equal (and opposite). How does the string tension relate to the weight of the hanging mass?
Sadly, I don't know, either I was absent or just not paying attention when we went over tension. I don't remember the word ever being mentioned

also, I'm sorry if I put this in the wrong forum section, I just noticed the homework help section of the forums.

Mentor
Blog Entries: 1

## Help finding friction force of block moving across horizontal atwood's machine

 Quote by Littledude Sadly, I don't know, either I was absent or just not paying attention when we went over tension. I don't remember the word ever being mentioned
Well, time to crack open the textbook! (See: Horizontal Pulley with Friction)

What forces act on the hanging mass? (Hint: Only two.) What must they add to? (The hanging mass is also moving with constant speed.)
 also, I'm sorry if I put this in the wrong forum section, I just noticed the homework help section of the forums.
I will move it.

 Quote by Doc Al Well, time to crack open the textbook! (See: Horizontal Pulley with Friction) What forces act on the hanging mass? (Hint: Only two.) What must they add to? (The hanging mass is also moving with constant speed.)
Gravity and tension and they must equal 0?

Mentor
Blog Entries: 1
 Quote by Littledude Gravity and tension and they must equal 0?
Right. (They must add to zero.)
 Ok, so tension would 9.8 while gravity is -9.8 so yeah, I'm really clueless as to what to do next, it's extremely frustrating that the concept just won't click. I appreciate that you are trying to help me actually learn the concept of this, but the lab report is already late and I'm failing the clss until I hand it in. If it's possible for you to just explain how to do this clearly I'd be grateful.
 Thanks for all the help, I talked to some other people and I believe I know how to do it now.

Mentor
Blog Entries: 1
 Quote by Littledude Ok, so tension would 9.8 while gravity is -9.8
The weight of the hanging mass is mg, so the string tension must equal mg. And now that you have the string tension, how does that relate to the friction force? (Review post #2.)

Mentor
Blog Entries: 1
 Quote by Littledude Thanks for all the help, I talked to some other people and I believe I know how to do it now.
Cool. (Sorry I didn't get to this sooner.)

 Tags atwood's machine, friction, hanging mass, lab report, physics