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Homework Help: Finding Acceleration in Atwood's Machine

  1. Sep 7, 2009 #1
    Edit: Today I was shown how to break this down into multiple free-body diagrams, and introduced to Cramer's Rule. I'm in the process of reattempting this problem. Once I have a solution (and it's verified as correct) I will post it for others having similar trouble.

    I'm having a terrible time with this. It's my first assignment from a non-"plug the numbers into the formula for the right answer" physics class. I don't even know if I'm on the right track, and I feel like I'm over-complicating things. Any help is greatly appreciated. Please forgive my horrible handwriting, improper/incorrect notation, flubbed math, and general butchery of physics. (Edit - I also just realized in my second free body diagram I have the acceleration of 2m written as just the acceleration of m. Not that those diagrams are done well/correctly otherwise...)

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

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Edit: Will post solution once it's verified.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  2. jcsd
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