# Normal Force between accelerating blocks

• disque
In summary: So all you need to do is solve for F.In summary, the homework statement asks for the normal force between blocks 2 and 3.
disque

## Homework Statement

Three blocks rest on a frictionless, horizontal table (see figure below), with m1 = 8 kg and m3 = 15 kg. A horizontal force F = 104 N is applied to block 1, and the acceleration of all three blocks is found to be 3.2 m/s2.

## Homework Equations

W=mg
F=ma
Normal Force=Weight (horizontal surface)

## The Attempt at a Solution

First off, I had to find the mass of the second block which was just 9.5, but the second part of the problem wants me to find the normal force between blocks 2 and 3. I thought you just added the weights of the two together which gave me 240.1(240 w/ sig figs) but that was wrong. I am thinking I have to incorporate the force they gave me somewhere in the problem, the problem is just where? Please help if you have time I would appreciate it. Thanks a lot. I attached the picture given too by the way.

#### Attachments

• physics.jpg
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Think of the third block in isolation?

Isn't the force on it what accelerates it at 3.2 m/s2

I don't understand what you are trying to say. I realize if I just look at the third block in isolation then W would equal 147 which is the mass times g. Is that correct, and what do I do from there?

Anybody know this? I am still lost.
Thanks a lot

disque said:
I don't understand what you are trying to say. I realize if I just look at the third block in isolation then W would equal 147 which is the mass times g. Is that correct, and what do I do from there?
That's correct, but the weight is irrelevant. (The vertical forces cancel.) Consider the horizontal forces acting on the blocks.

I've tried 104 and that is incorrect...?

negative is incorrect as well, just thought I'd try that and no luck. :(

disque said:
I've tried 104 and that is incorrect...?

But 104 N is accelerating all of the masses isn't it?

What is the mass of the 3rd block? If 104 N was accelerating the 3rd block it would be going faster. But it isn't. So what force is required to accelerate the 3rd block at the same rate as all the blocks are being accelerated by the 104 N?

disque said:
I've tried 104 and that is incorrect...?
The 104 N force acts on block 1 and accelerates the entire set of blocks (as LowlyPion explains); it does not directly act on block 3. You have to figure out the force acting on block 3 (which is the normal force from block 2). Luckily, you know its mass and acceleration and Newton's 2nd law.

## 1. What is normal force between accelerating blocks?

Normal force between accelerating blocks is the force that acts perpendicular to the surface of contact between two blocks that are in motion. It is a reaction force that is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to the force applied by the blocks on each other.

## 2. How is normal force calculated between accelerating blocks?

The normal force between accelerating blocks can be calculated using the formula: FN = m1a1 + m2a2, where m1 and m2 are the masses of the two blocks and a1 and a2 are their respective accelerations.

## 3. What is the significance of normal force between accelerating blocks?

The normal force between accelerating blocks is important because it helps to determine the net force acting on each block and the resulting acceleration. It also plays a role in keeping the blocks in contact with each other and preventing them from slipping.

## 4. How does normal force between accelerating blocks affect the motion of the blocks?

The normal force between accelerating blocks affects the motion of the blocks by providing the necessary reaction force to counteract the applied force and maintain the blocks' relative motion. It also determines the amount of friction between the blocks, which can impact their acceleration.

## 5. Can the normal force between accelerating blocks be negative?

No, the normal force between accelerating blocks cannot be negative. It is always directed perpendicular to the surface of contact and is either equal to or greater than zero. A negative value would indicate that the blocks are not in contact with each other, which is not possible in this scenario.

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