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: Ratio of tension

  1. Sep 20, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Two blocks, masses m1 and m2, are connected by a massless cord as seen below. If the two blocks are pulled with a constant tension on a frictionless surface by applying a force of magnitude T2 to a second cord connected to m2, what is the ratio of the tensions in the two cords T1/ T2 in terms of the masses?


    I am completly confused by this statement; any hints would be greatly apprecitated
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2008 #2
    The system moves due to a force applied along the second cord (T2), which pulls both M2 and M1. Net force is mass*acceleration...considering the situation is ideal, the acceleration for the 2 blocks is the same. Using this, you could find the ratio T1/T2.
  4. Sep 20, 2008 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The problem is asking you to determine the tension in the cord between the 2 blocks, when the blocks are pulled by the given value, T2, of the second cord. The blocks must move together and accelearte at the same rate. Try using Newton 2 to calculate the acceleration of the 2 blocks as they move together, then isolate the first block in a free body diagram to determine T1, and the T1/T2 ratio.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook