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Homework Help: Beginner Pully Problem

  1. Sep 11, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Apply Newton's second law to find formulas for the magnitude of the acceleration of the system and for the tension in the cord. Ignore friction and the masses of the pulley and cord. (Use only the following: m_1 for m1, m_2 for m2, and g for gravity.)

    a = ?
    T = ?

    2. Relevant equations

    Sum forces = ma?

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I honestly have no idea how to do this..

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2007 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    (1) Identify all forces acting on each mass
    (2) Apply Newton's 2nd law to each mass separately
  4. Sep 11, 2007 #3
    Well we don't have any numbers to work with so I'm trying to figure out just formulas.. I have no idea how to go about this.. I've just started this course and I haven't learned very much to do this..
  5. Sep 11, 2007 #4

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    You don't need numbers. Just label the forces with symbols. For example: The tension force from the string can be labeled "T". Express the force of gravity in terms of mg. Call the acceleration "a".

    Reading this over might help you: Standard Newton's Laws Problems
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