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One mass on, one half off, attached by a string

  1. Dec 2, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Two equal masses (A and B) are attaced by a massless string of length L. Mass A is on a cliff and B is being held even with the cliff but a length L/2 away from the edge. If you drop mass B from this position, would mass B swing down and hit the edge of the cliff before mass A reaches the edge of the cliff?

    2. Relevant equations
    No equations are necessary according to the problem

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm just supposed to explain my reasoning for my answer. So my answer goes...

    Mass A would reach the edge of the cliff because as mass B falls and pulls on A, the radius of the arc that B would need to make to reach the edge of the cliff would continually increase, thus not allowing B to hit the edge of the cliff.

    Does this make sense or am I just making stuff up? Is there a better "logical" explaination that would seem to fit better with physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2007 #2
    Addition... as for the actual question, mass A is L/2 away from the edge of the cliff. So the string is taut (the string won't stretch as mass B falls either).
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