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Homework Help: Block on a Cart

  1. Oct 23, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A block of mass mblock = 1.5 kg rests on a cart of mass mcart = 3.5 kg, which moves without friction on a horizontal surface. The coefficient of static friction between the block and the cart is µ = 0.7. The cart is accelerating to the right.

    a) What is the maximum acceleration such that the block does not slide on the cart?

    b) What is the magnitude of the force on the cart required to provide the acceleration amax?

    2. Relevant equations

    a) and b) F=ma

    3. The attempt at a solution

    a) I got a by taking the mass of the block and multiplying it by gravity ---> 1.5*9.8=14.7N
    Then I took 14.7N and multiplied that by mew ---> 14.7*0.7 = 10.29
    I then took this number, and divided it by the mass of the block --->
    10.29/1.5 = 6.86 m/s^2

    So 6.86m/s^2 is the max acceleration so wouldn't this make 10.29 the magnitude of the force required to provide the acceleration for amax?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2008 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Hi PhysicslyDSBL,

    That is the required force on the cup to give it an acceleration of amax. But they want the required force on the cart to give the entire system an acceleration of amax.
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