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Atwood Machine Special Cases

  1. Sep 18, 2007 #1
    An Atwood machine consists of two blocks (of masses m_1 and m_2) tied together with a massless rope that passes over a fixed, perfect (massless and frictionless) pulley.
    For all parts of this problem, take upward to be the positive direction and take the gravitational constant, g, to be positive.

    Now here's the problem: suppose m_1 goes to infinity while while m_2 remains finite. What value does the the magnitude of the tension approach??

    I think it's m_2 times g, but I think that's not entirely correct. I tried to find the acceleration of m1 and concluded it was 0, and then thought that acceleration of m2 was g (positive, because it's going up) so that tension is just the sum of two forces... which is how i arrived at my partially correct answer m_2 times g.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2007 #2


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    What is the tension in a regular atwood machine with masses m1 and m2?
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