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Contact Forces problem

  1. Oct 5, 2004 #1
    This problem seemed very straightforward but I've somehow missed something...

    Three blocks (M1, M2, M3) are in contact with each other on a frictionless, horizontal surface. A horizontal force is applied to M1.

    If M1= 1.67kg, M2= 2.67kg, M3= 3.78kg, and F= 16.1 N:

    a) what is the magnitude of the contact force between blocks 1 and 2
    b) what is the magnitude of the contact force between blocks 2 and 3

    I used the formula P=(M2/M1+M2) x F to find these contact forces, but the answers I got were not correct.

    for a) I calculated P= (2.67/1.67+2.67) x 16.1
    and for b) I calculated P= (3.78/2.67+3.78) x 16.1

    This seemed like it should lead to the right answer, but it didn't work. Anyone know what I've done wrong???
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 5, 2004 #2


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  4. Oct 5, 2004 #3
    that makes sense :) thanks for the help
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