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Homework Help: Direction of acceleration in pendulum bob?

  1. Sep 23, 2011 #1
    A simple pendulum consists of a mass M tied to a string and swings freely
    starting from rest at the position on the left in the figure below.


    Select the vectors which best represent the acceleration of mass M at the five
    positions labeled 1,2,3,4,5 as the mass
    swings from left to right. (If for position 1 the
    acceleration is A, and for positons 2,3,4,5 it
    is B, enter ABBBB.

    The mg component which is downward is split-ted into vertical and horizontal component. Tension is balanced by mgcos(theta) and mgsin(theta) produces acceleration in the bob of pendulum
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2011 #2
    the acceleration "should" always point toward the center. This is due to the tension in the wire.

    *still, I'd wait for another reply to confirm this.
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