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Homework Help: Newton's Second Law of Motion homework problem

  1. Oct 19, 2007 #1
    An applied force accelerates mass A at a rate of 6.0m/s^2. The same force applied to mass B accelerates the mass at a rate of 8.0m/s^2. If the same force were used to accelerate both masses together, what would be the resulting acceleration be?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2007 #2


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    set up a set of equations using F=ma for different m and a
  4. Oct 19, 2007 #3
    write the second law for the first case, the second case and the third case

    F= (mass of a)*(6.0)
    F= (mass of b)*(8.0)
    F= (mass of a + mass of b)*(acceleration)

    the first two equations give us the mass of a and mass of b in the form:


    substitute them into the third equation and solve for acceleration. the force cancels out.
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