Conservation of a mechanical energy question

  • Thread starter wilmerena
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  • #1
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Hi, this is my first time here and Id like to thank in advance for any help offered :smile:
Im having trouble with the following question about 2 masses in an atwoods machine.

2 masses are initially at rest at the same height, if m2 has a given initial upward speed, how high does m2 rise above its initial position before momentarily coming to rest, (masses for each are given with m2 being heavier)

I know that I need to show some work before I should post this, but I embarrased to say I dont know how to even apporach it :frown:

any tips will be greatly appreciated :biggrin:
 

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  • #2
arildno
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Welcome to PF!
This is a conservation of mechanical energy question.
Set up the initial mechanical energy of the whole system (kinetic+potential)
When the system falls momentarily at rest (assuming that the string remains taut all the time), the system only have potential energy.
As a hint, note that with a taut, inextensible string, the increase of height for m2 must equal the decrease of height for m1
 
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  • #3
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First, find the acceleration of the masses. Then use some kinematics to find the distance. Should be dead easy.
 

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