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Mass Acceleration question

  1. Sep 16, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Consider two masses m1 and m2 connected by a thin string.

    Assume the following values m1 = 5kg, m2 = 1 kg. Ignore friction and mass of the string.

    The two blocks are connected by a thin string, which m2, hangs down freely, while the other is on a flat surface. There is a pulley at the edge of the surface so that m2 hangs down.

    What should the balue of mass m1 be to get the largest possible value of accelaratio nof the two masses. What would be that maximum acceleration.

    2. Relevant equations

    (m2)/(m1 + m2) * g = a

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I know that the lower m1 is, the higher the acceleration would be. But what would the maximum be?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2008 #2
    The mass of m1 can be greater than or equal to zero. The maximum occurs when m1 is equal to zero. The equation you give reduces to a=g. Therefore the maximum acceleration is equal to g.
  4. Sep 16, 2008 #3
    Ah i see, thank you very much
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