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In setting the problem up, do you calculate say, Tension A with the mg of Car 1, Tension B with the mg of Car 2, etc. and then add those totals OR do you add all the x-components of the tensions and then all the y-components?

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- Thread starter TikiPost10
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- #1

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In setting the problem up, do you calculate say, Tension A with the mg of Car 1, Tension B with the mg of Car 2, etc. and then add those totals OR do you add all the x-components of the tensions and then all the y-components?

- #2

OlderDan

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TikiPost10 said:

In setting the problem up, do you calculate say, Tension A with the mg of Car 1, Tension B with the mg of Car 2, etc. and then add those totals OR do you add all the x-components of the tensions and then all the y-components?

The best way to approach problems of this sort is to look at each accelerating object separately, recognizing that they have a common acceleration. You can write an F = ma equation for each car, where in two of the three cases F is the difference between two tensions. See if you can write the three equations and take it from there.

It does turn out that each tension equals the mass of all cars

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