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Homework Help: Solving Pulley Problems

  1. Mar 19, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The way my teacher makes us solve for accelleration in pulley problems is by calculating the net force of the system as a whole and then using F=ma, with the total mass and total net force. Are you supposed to solve for something like accelleration seperately for each mass or do all masses in a pulley have the same accelleration?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Does it make sense to solve for the accelleration of the system as a whole or of the seperate masses? I'm not sure.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2016 #2
    All the mass have the same acceleration, if not that would mean that the cable connecting 'em would change it's lenght
  4. Mar 20, 2016 #3


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    Homework Helper

    If all masses have the same acceleration, depends on the problem.
    In the figure on the left, the masses have the same acceleration, A upward and B downward. On the right, the accelerations are not the same. The upward acceleration of A is twice the downward acceleration of B. Make a free body diagram for each mass and find the relation of their accelerations from the condition that the length of the string must be constant.

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