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Homework Help: Acceleration Constraints

  1. Oct 15, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    In the figure, find an expression for the acceleration of m1 (assume that the table is frictionless).


    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    My biggest problem here is that I don't know what variables I am supposed to answer in (my homework is done on a computer system that is picky about everything).

    I know that because of acceleration constraints m1 and the string must move at the same acceleration. But must m2 move with the same acceleration?

    The net force on m1 is the force of tension to the right. The net force on m2 is the sum of two tension forces upward and the weight downward.

    The acceleration of m2 must be:

    F = ma

    weight - 2 (tension) = ma

    (weight - 2 (tension)) / m = a
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2007 #2
    Is there anything I can add to get help on this? I am racking my brain here but I can't seem to figure out m1's acceleration relative to m2.

    Intuition tells me that they can't be the same, but expressing this mathematically isn't coming to me so easily.
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