1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Pretty easy tension problem

  1. Apr 29, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A mass m on a frictionless table is attached to a hanging mass M by a cord through a hole in the table; the hole has no frictional effect on the string. Find the condition (the speed of the mass and the radius of its circular motion) with which it must spin for M to remain at rest

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    is the answer v=sqrt(Mgr/m)? i feel like you need to seperate r and v but I cant find a way to express both variable individually with the givens.... i think speed and radius depend on each other so there can be multiple answers. is this correct?

    how I solved it:

    system m
    x components:

    Ftension = ma
    Ftension = mv^2/r

    system M
    Fgravity - F tension (cordinate system with y axis going downard) = ma
    a is 0
    so Fgravity = Ftension


    so Fgravity can be rewritted as Mg
    so Mg = mv^2/r
    and thus v = sqrt(Mgr/m) right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2015 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Dimensional analysis can be used to prove there's not enough information. There's no mass dimension in either of the requested values, so the only use of the given masses is to take the ratio. That leaves you with only an acceleration (g) from which to obtain both a distance and a speed. No chance.
  4. Apr 30, 2015 #3
    so is the answer i have the best i can do with the given information? i think either r or v would have to be given for me to have seperate equations for both r and v.... right?
  5. Apr 30, 2015 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted