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Atwood's machine and accuracy

  1. Oct 4, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    We hope to use Atwood's machine to measure gravitational accleration with an accuracy of 5% [(Delta g)/g = 0.05]. Mass m1 is heavier than m2 and it falls through a distance L.

    We are able to measure time with accuracy of (Delta t) = 0.1s. If we say, for any x, (delta x)/x can be expressed as the differential dx/x, write the relationship between (Delta g)/g and (Delta t)/t.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Suppose T as a tension in the rope.

    m1g - T = m1a
    T - m2g = m2a,

    g = (m1+m2)g/(m1-m2).

    From L = 1/2at^2, a = 2L/t^2.

    Therefore, g = 2L(m1+m2)/[(m1-m2)t^2]

    I can't go further from this step...

    any idea to solve this problem??
  2. jcsd
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