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Tension problem i think

  1. Oct 1, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The table is rough and has a coefficient of kinetic friction of 0.395. The three masses are m1 = 3.69 kg, m2 = 1.34 kg, and m3 = 1.82 kg, and the pulleys are frictionless. Determine the magnitude of the acceleration of each block.


    3. The attempt at a solution

    i set up force diagrams but i dont really know what im suppose to find or how
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2009 #2


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    Hi Chuck86, welcome to PF.

    There is no drawing with your question, but this sort of problem in general requires you to

    1. Add all the forces in your fee body diagram to get the net force (what you call EF)
    2. Set the horizontal component of the net force equal to the mass of your system times the horizontal component of the acceleration to get one equation.
    3. Repeat with the vertical components of net force and acceleration to get a second equation.
    4. Solve the equations for the unknown(s).
  4. Oct 1, 2009 #3
    thanks that helps but the forces that act on it are in m2: normal force, t1, t2, and the rate of gravity? m1&m3 : rate of gravity, and tension?

    i tried to attach a copy of the picture

    Attached Files:

  5. Oct 1, 2009 #4


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    I can't guess what the diagram looks like so until it is approved, try to do what you can.
  6. Oct 1, 2009 #5
    ok. i didnt know it needed approval
  7. Oct 4, 2009 #6


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    Draw three free body diagrams, one for each mass. Write Newton's Second law for each of the diagrams. Note that the blocks have the same acceleration and that the tensions in the ropes are not equal. If they were, the block on the table would not accelerate. You will have three equations and three unknowns, the acceleration and the two tensions.
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