# Determine the magnitude of the minimum acceleration

1. Sep 20, 2013

### tristanmagnum

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

A 76-kg petty thief wants to escape from a third-story jail window. Unfortunately, a makeshift rope made of sheets tied together can support a mass of only 58 kg.Determine the magnitude of the minimum acceleration at which the thief can descend using the rope.

2. Relevant equations

i think T-mg=ma?

3. The attempt at a solution
i know tension would be the upward force and mg (weight) would be the upward force correct?

2. Sep 20, 2013

### haruspex

The signs are going to depend on how you define the positive direction. Your equation is fine if the aceleration a is defined upward (so expect a negative result).

3. Sep 20, 2013

### tristanmagnum

would i use the mass of the man or the mass that the sheet can with stand?

4. Sep 20, 2013

### haruspex

The question is not quite right. It should say that the sheets can withstand a weight of 58g N. Mass is not force.

5. Sep 20, 2013

### arildno

What would the tension be if a man of 58 kg chose to rest from it?