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Magnitude of horizontal forces

  1. Feb 24, 2015 #1
    A child pulls an 11 kg wagon with a horizontal handle whose mass is 1.8 kg. This results in the wagon and the handle accelerating at 2.3 m/s^2. Find the tension forces at each end of the handle. Why are these different?

    Suppose that the mass of the child is 30 kg. What is the magnitude of the other horizontal forces acting on the child, besides the tension in the handle? Assume the child moves along with the wagon.

    F = ma
    T1 - T2 = ma

    Answer to first question: The tension forces are not equal because the formula states that T1 - T2 = m(a) and neither mass or acceleration are equal to 0.

    Answer to second:
    T1 = 11 kg (2.3 m/s^2) = 25.3 N
    T2 = (11 kg + 1.8 kg)(2.3 m/s^2) = 29.4 N

    This is where I'm stuck. What is the magnitude? What is the equation I'm supposed to be using. Do I just subtract the two tensions? Also do I subtract the mass of the wagon from the mass of the child?

     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2015 #2

    haruspex

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    How is the child managing to accelerate self and wagon?
     
  4. Feb 24, 2015 #3
    That's all of the question. The child is pulling the wagon himself.
     
  5. Feb 24, 2015 #4

    haruspex

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    Yes, but how is the child managing to go forwards, do you think? Pulled by a team of trained rabbits, perhaps? Attracted by a black hole? What's most likely?
     
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