1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Change in Kinetic Energy of a Cart + Pulley System

  1. Oct 15, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    http://edugen.wiley.com/edugen/courses/crs1650/art/qb/qu/c07/pict_7_42.gif
    Figure 7-42 shows a cord attached to a cart that can slide along a frictionless horizontal rail aligned along an x axis. The left end of the cord is pulled over a pulley, of negligible mass and friction and at cord height h = 1.20 m, so the cart slides from x1 = 3.00 m to x2 = 1.00 m. During the move, the tension in the cord is a constant 25.0 N. What is the change in the kinetic energy of the cart during the move?

    2. Relevant equations
    W = F*d cosθ


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Find θ first.
    θ = tan-1(h / Δx)
    = tan-1(1.2 / (3-1))
    = tan-1(0.6)

    Sub into work equation.
    W = F*d*cosθ
    = (25) * (2) * cos (tan-1(0.6))
    = 42.87464629 J

    The answer should be 41.7 J. Help is much appreciated!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2009 #2

    rl.bhat

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Hi Flamefury, welcome to PF.
    You have calculated work done assuming that θ remains constant. But it is not so.
    Expess
    dW = Fcosθ*dx
    write down cosθ in terms of h and x. Find the integration from x = 3 to x = 1.
     
  4. Oct 16, 2009 #3
    This may be a silly question, but how do I integrate x = 3 to x = 1?
     
  5. Oct 16, 2009 #4

    rl.bhat

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    First of write down cosθ in terms of h and x.
    Substitute it in dW. Find the integration between the limits x = 3 m to x = 1 m.
     
  6. Oct 16, 2009 #5
    I understand up to subbing in the cosθ into the dW equation. However, I don't understand the process of integration.
     
  7. Oct 16, 2009 #6

    rl.bhat

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Write down the expression for dW.
     
  8. Oct 16, 2009 #7
    [tex]dW = F(\frac{x}{\sqrt{x^{2}+h^{2}}})dx[/tex]
     
  9. Oct 16, 2009 #8

    rl.bhat

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Do you know how to find integration?
    It can be done by substitution method.
    Put t = x^2 + h^2
    dt = 2x*dx
    x*dx = dt/2
     
  10. Oct 16, 2009 #9
    I still don't understand the integral, but I was able to get the answer.

    I wrote the work equation using the change in hypotenuse as the displacement. This works because of the pulley at the top, and the fact that the string can't be created or destroyed.
    [tex]W=F*(\sqrt{x_{i}^{2}+h^{2}}-\sqrt{x_{f}^{2}+h^{2}})[/tex]

    So I just used this to figure out the work done.

    But I thank you for your help, regardless! I appreciate how long you put up with me for.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook