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Homework Help: Newtons Laws Question: Finding acceleration and direction of movement

  1. Dec 18, 2008 #1
    1. The only force on a 5.0 kg object has components Fx= 20N and Fy= 30N

    2. Find the acceleration of the object and its direction of movement.

    3. I think i'm supposed to somehow use Soh Cah Toa inorder to find something (I don't know what this would help me find). I need to use Sin(theta)= Fx/m. But that would give me the angle measure and not the acceleration.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2008 #2


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    Alright, since forces are vector quantities and the forces are acting in perpendicular directions, you can calculate the x and y components of the acceleration. After that it's merely an application of the pythagorean theorem.

    For the direction, draw a free body diagram labeling the forces acting on the object and go from there. Hint: you'll need to use SOH-CAH-TOA to find the direction.
  4. Dec 18, 2008 #3


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    acorn1290, welcome to PF! Sin theta = Fx/m is not a correct equation, I'm not sure how you arrived at it. Are you familiar with newton's second law? Try applying it in the x direction, and again, independently, in the y direction, and respond with your results.
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