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Newton's Laws Problem-confused

  1. Sep 30, 2007 #1
    Newton's Laws Problem--confused

    This has been frustrating me:


    The pulley in the figure is essentially weightless and frictionless. Suppose someone holds on to m=10.0 kg and accelerates it upward at 4.905 m/s/s. What will then be the tension in the rope given that M=10.0 kg?


    The sum of the forces on m = Ftension + Fhand - Fgravity = ma
    The sum of the forces on M = Ftension - Fgravity = Ma

    I said Fhand= m * upward acceleration

    I tried solving for 'a' on both equations, then set them equal to eachother to solve for Ftension. This gave me a ridiculous answer, and I'm pretty sure I didn't screw up my math. I must have set it up wrong? Please help!

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 30, 2007 #2
    Acceleration of M will also be 4.9 m/s2. Apply F = Ma to get tension. F = Mg - T.
  4. Sep 30, 2007 #3


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    Homework Helper

    Don't assume what Fhand is... you only know that m accelerates upwards at 4.905m/s^2, therefore the other mass accelerates downwards at 4.905m/s^2

    you should get 2 equations with 2 unknowns (Fhand and tension). solve for the tension. careful about signs and directions... remember one mass accelerates upwards, the other accelerates downwards.
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