# Efficency Question Help

## Homework Statement

Question:
Calculate the efficiency of a system that uses a falling mass to move a box along the desk.
Given (helps to see picture):
Weight of (sliding) box = 164g
Weight of (falling) mass = 200g
Distance of board (platform) = 88cm
Time (avg) = 6s
(anything missing? I can get it, just point it out [its a lab])

## Homework Equations

Efficiency = (energy output/energy input) x 100%

## The Attempt at a Solution

= (0.2kg)(9.8kg/N)(0.88m)
= 1.7J
Eo= mgh
= (0.164kg)(9.8kg/N)(0.88m)
= 1.4J
E% = (Eo/Ei) x 100%
= (1.4J/1.7J) x 100%
= 82%

Any input to anything would be very helpful, and thanks for your time.

You need to know friction. Without friction, the efficiency is 100%.

UPDATE: No, never mind. That's wrong. What you have is right, except that the formulas for Ei and Eo are reversed. (but friction will decrease the efficiency)

Last edited:
well this problem sort of seems to be solved wrong because of the simple fact the effeciency of the system is merely a factor of $\frac{E_i}{E_o}$ By your calculations, if you go to see, acceleration, the distance moved all cancel out and hence the effeciency is given by the ratios of the two masses. Hence, by just adjusting the masses of the two systems, you can raise the effeciency of the system to more than 100%.

although i am not sure how this contradiction occurs, and the formula which is W = Fd seems to be used rightly.. the loss in the GPE of the falling mass MUST equal the kinetic energy acquired by the moving mass.

alphysicist
Homework Helper
Hi UnnamedOne,

## Homework Statement

Question:
Calculate the efficiency of a system that uses a falling mass to move a box along the desk.
Given (helps to see picture):
Weight of (sliding) box = 164g
Weight of (falling) mass = 200g
Distance of board (platform) = 88cm
Time (avg) = 6s
(anything missing? I can get it, just point it out [its a lab])

## Homework Equations

Efficiency = (energy output/energy input) x 100%

## The Attempt at a Solution

That's why the efficiency here will always be less than 100% even if there is no friction; gravity is doing work on both blocks, but you only want to find the fraction of gravity's work that is going to the sliding block. (Using $mad$ for the energy output would include frictional heating as part of the energy output.)