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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


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    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.
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