Two blocks are in contact on a frictionless table. A horizontal force F is applied to M2, as shown. If M1 = 1.03 kg, M2 = 3.40 kg, and F = 5.10 N, find the size of the contact force between the two blocks.
If instead an equal but oppositely directed force is applied to M1 rather than M2, find the size of the contact force between the two blocks.
I'm pretty sure F=MA is the equation to use.
The Attempt at a Solution
For this, I looked at the system as a whole, summed the masses and found the acceleration of the entire system.
I found this to be a=1.151m/s^2
I then isolated mass 2 and mass 1 to find the forces for part 1 and 2 respectively. I obtained the answers : 3.914N for part 1 and 1.85N for part 2.
Where am I going wrong?
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