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Homework Help: Need help with Friction

  1. Mar 14, 2005 #1
    Okay, here is the problem I am working on...

    A block of a certain weight(w2) is sliding down an inclined plane at angle theta. There is a plank on top of the block with a certain weight (w2) that is attacked to a cord at the top of the plane so that it does not move.

    I need to find the coefficient of kinetic friction in terms of the masses of each block and the angle theta. The coeffecient is the same between both surface contacts.

    I am using Newton's 2nd law and I'm stuck with the friction. In my free body diagram I am not sure which direction the force of friction is going between the block and the plank nor how it affects both.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2005 #2


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    Since you're trying to figure out directions, hopefully you defined a coordinate system first. After you've done that, think about this: in what direction is the block trying to slide past the plank? Friction always opposes this motion Likewise for the block sliding down the inclined plane.
  4. Mar 15, 2005 #3
    Its better to say that Friction is a force that opposes sliding.
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