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Homework Help: Two moving blocks, find small blocks final velocity

  1. Jun 14, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A small block (mass m) slides down a circular path (radius R) which is cut into a large block (mass M), as shown. M rests on a table and both blocks slide without friction. The blocks are initially at rest, and m starts at the top of the path. Determine the velocity of m when it loses contact with the large block.
    Data: M = 3.4 kg; m = 1.2 kg; R = 0.7 m.

    2. Relevant equations
    Using basic geometry I have solved a = (angular velocity^2)*r*cos(phi)cos(theta)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Using the above equation though, I belive to be in the wrong refrence frame since both blocks are moving. Thus, the 90 degree refrence angles will not be 90 when the small block is no longer touching the large block.

    Thank you in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2009 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Maybe consider the energy that's in the system?

    Don't you have a total of m*g*R available?

    And won't the Center of Mass in the absence of external forces need to be in the same position when the small block exits?
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