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Friction problem?

  1. Sep 24, 2008 #1
    Please help...
    A person places a cup of coffee on the roof of her car while she dashes back into the house for a forgotten item. When she returns to the car, she hops in and takes off with the coffee cup still on the roof.
    (a) If the coefficient of static friction between the coffee cup and the roof of the car is 0.24, what is the maximum acceleration the car can have without causing the cup to slide? Ignore the effects of air resistance.

    (b) What is the smallest amount of time in which the person can accelerate the car from rest to 20 m/s and still keep the coffee cup on the roof?

    so I don't really even know where to start. How would I know what mu is?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2008 #2


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    But "mu" is given as 0.24, the friction coefficient between the cup and roof. Determine the max friction force available to accelerate the cup. Then consider applying Newton 2 after looking at a free body diagram of the cup.
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