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Homework Help: What is the tension in each cord?

  1. Oct 18, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    One 3.5 kg paint bucket is hanging by a massless cord from another 3.5 kg paint bucket, also hanging by a massless cord.

    (a) If the buckets are at rest, what is the tension in each cord?

    (lower cord)
    (upper cord)

    (b) If the two buckets are pulled upward with an acceleration of 1.80 m/s2 by the upper cord, calculate the tension in each cord.

    (lower cord)
    (upper cord)

    2. Relevant equations

    I'm not sure on what equations to use or anything.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Everything I've been doing is wrong. I tried adding it up and dividing by gravity, then subtracting and dividing by gravity and I don't know what else to do.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2007 #2


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    Gold Member

    Em you might want to solve your original problem first, that should help you with this one, and it's not really advisable to try to do 2 together.
  4. Oct 18, 2007 #3
    I'm not doing it together. I put it up now so I wouldn't forget about it?
  5. Oct 18, 2007 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Step 1: Draw the free body diagram, and label all the forces acting on both buckets.

    Have you done this? Describe all the forces you've got.

    Example: Forces acting on upper bucket are <blah1> in the <foo1> direction, <blah2> in the <foo2> direction, etc.
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