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Incline Plane Problem

  1. Sep 11, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A block of mass m1 = 4.50 kg on a frictionless inclined plane of angle 30.0° is connected by a cord over a massless, frictionless pulley to a second block of mass m2 = 2.80 kg hanging vertically.

    What is the magnitude of the acceleration of each block?



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    I have attached two of my many attempts. I think the second attempt is closer because I realized that since the blocks are connected that they have the same magnitude of acceleration but just different directions. Both of these answers are wrong along with the many others I have submitted. Some help and/or hints would be great. Thanks.
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2011 #2
    The force acting on the mass m1 via mass m2 is the tension T in the rope and it is only equal to m_1*g when nothing moves. The mass m_1 is accelerating so T - m_1*g = m_1*a, T is not equal to m_1.

    I think it helps to draw a separate free body diagram for each mass.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Sep 11, 2011 #3
    Ok thanks that makes sense. I'll try the problem again tomorrow.
     
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