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Homework Help: Forces: find angle without x/y components?

  1. Oct 29, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I just can't seem to find anything that I can relate to for solving this problem and it's giving me a headache.

    I don't even know how to start solving this question. Please help:

    A man drags a package across the floor with a force of 40 N. The mass of the package is 10 kg. If the acceleration of the package is 3.5 m/s^2 and friction can be neglected, at what angle to the horizontal does the man pull?

    2. Relevant equations
    I know that the angle would normally be inversetan(opp/adj) given the x and y components, or for the x/y components it would be hyp. x cos(angle) or hyp. x sin (angle).
    I don't have either one though?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I drew out a diagram and I cannot find any examples whatsoever in my notes OR online that isn't overly complex with a bunch of coefficients I don't understand, or just the wrong frickin equations every single time I try to look it up.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 29, 2016 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Think about the package accelerating. It's accelerating horizontally across the floor. If you were pulling it horizontally, what size of force would be needed to achieve that acceleration?
  4. Oct 29, 2016 #3
    I think I got it, thanks.
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