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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello. I am learning about tension in Atwood machines( ideal pulley, frictionless mass, etc.) and I am having trouble grasping the concept of tension.

I thought that the tension in a rope should be equal to the net force on both masses. That way the forces are balanced out and the masses are at some sort of equilibrium (rest).

But my text is saying:

For a system where m2> m1

Fnet= T- m1g= m1a

Fnet= m2g -T=m2a

These net forces are not assumed to be equal to each other thought, but why not?

They should be equal to one another or at least there should be some balancing force opposite but equal in magnitude to the sum of these net forces, right? Otherwise, there will be a net acceleration in one direction and the system will not be at rest. *scratches head*

I thought that the tension in a rope should be equal to the net force on both masses. That way the forces are balanced out and the masses are at some sort of equilibrium (rest).

But my text is saying:

For a system where m2> m1

Fnet= T- m1g= m1a

Fnet= m2g -T=m2a

These net forces are not assumed to be equal to each other thought, but why not?

They should be equal to one another or at least there should be some balancing force opposite but equal in magnitude to the sum of these net forces, right? Otherwise, there will be a net acceleration in one direction and the system will not be at rest. *scratches head*