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Homework Help: Pulley problem - finding tensions and acceleration

  1. Nov 16, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I have a drawing that has two masses (unequal) hanging from a string that passes over a pulley. There is an acceleration acting on each of the forces in opposite directions. Assuming that the only given information is the masses (one is M=12 kg and the other is m=6 kg) how would I find the acceleration and the tensions on either side? (Also, the tensions are unequal)

    2. Relevant equations
    T[tex]^{}1[/tex] - Mg = -Ma
    T[tex]_{}2[/tex] - mg = ma

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm not sure how to even approach this given that there are three different unknowns and only two equations.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Hi reesespieces2, welcome to PF.
    In a single string the tension is the same in all its segments. So T1 = T2.
  4. Nov 16, 2009 #3
    Thank you!
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