So I am pretty okay with most of this problem. And I asked my teacher for clarification but he just sort of said "because it's positive" and I get that's it's positive. Apparently "everyone's" struggling with that, and therefore we are going over this problem to cement the fact that we consider the direction of acceleration to be positive...but that doesn't help me. I get, clearly, how why whatever that we consider m2g positive in this problem. What I don't get is why we can put m2g, a y direction force, into an other wise x direction equation....the fact that it's positive...I don't see how that negates or affects the fact that it's a y direction force in this problem
See first picture
The Attempt at a Solution
As I was writing this I had a thought:
Do we use m2g because m2g is equivalent to Ft2....and Ft2 is equal to Ft1+Ft3...and ft1 and ft3 are x direction forces?? Is that why?
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