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Homework Help: Dynamics Question Involving two blocks on a plane

  1. Oct 14, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Picture here with question.

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    For the system to begin moving, a>0 therefore


    I drew some FBDs and came up with four relevant forces total; the force of gravity along the plane for each of the two blocks, and the force of friction on the plane by m1 and m2, and the force of friction on m1 by m2. I ended up with something like this (g is cancelled):

    m2sinx - m1 sinx - um1cosx - u(m1+m2)cosx > 0

    tan x > (2um1+um2)/(m2-m1)

    And solved for x from there.

    However, my answer is wrong. I think I'm getting stuck with the forces of friction, the denominator in my expression (m2-m1) seems very reasonable considering the system should act similarly to a block of mass m2-m1 with the extra force of friction.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2013 #2

    Filip Larsen

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Welcome to PF!

    If your equation is from a FBD of m1 you may want to reconsider which mass is involved in the expression for the frictional force. (hint: if the system is not moving, can the force of friction then depend on m2?)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
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