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Homework Help: ATWOOD MACHINE help!

  1. Mar 4, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    String that is equal in length to the string connecting the pulley is sometimes tied to the bottoms of the two masses, where it hangs suspended between them. Explain why this would reduce experimental errors.

    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm not sure but does the string help stabalize the masses when one is dropped so they travel the exact same distance?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2010 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    The question asks why it helps to reduce experimental errors. It's not refering to mechanically stabilizing anything.

    What are the assumptions for an ideal Atwood Machine? What keeps you from being able to build an ideal/perfect AM? What could you do to mitigate these imperfections?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atwood_machine

    .
     
  4. Mar 4, 2010 #3
    But I don't understand what the experimental errors are... how could string have affected it in any way?
     
  5. Mar 4, 2010 #4

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Did you read the link that I posted? The clues are in there. (Or in your textbook's description of the AM)
     
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