# Homework Help: Incline plane and pulley

1. Nov 3, 2007

### temaire

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
http://img216.imageshack.us/img216/1767/inclineplanevq9.jpg [Broken]​

2. Relevant equations
F = ma
sohcahtoa

3. The attempt at a solution
The answer to the question is b, but I got a. I used the sine ratio and divided the forces that were acting on mass 1 by the forces acting on mass 2. Can someone help me on this question?

Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
2. Nov 3, 2007

### Dick

That's because the question is so badly written. If you consider positive 'a' to be m2 accelerating down, then a) is correct. If you choose positive 'a' to mean m2 is accelerating up, then b) is correct.

3. Nov 3, 2007

### temaire

Actually, if you put it that way, I don't think that the question is worded badly, because m1g would be greater than the parallel force of gravity, so m2 would be accelerating up. Remember, m1 = m2. Can you explain in further detail how you came to your conclusion though?

4. Nov 3, 2007

### Dick

In working these problems, you get to choose which direction you consider positive. You chose a different and equally valid way to do that. The question should have been clearer on that.

Last edited: Nov 3, 2007
5. Nov 3, 2007

### physicsbhelp

b) is correct.

6. Nov 4, 2007

### temaire

Can you show me how you got b?