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Will the burglars be apprehended by the police who are located 20 seconds away?

  1. Oct 13, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Skilled burglars have broken into a prosperous Swiss bank with the
    intent of stealing a safe filled with gold. The entire safe, i.e. safe
    and gold, weighs one metric ton. The burglars managed to find the
    safe and they brought it to a large floor-to-ceiling window. Their
    plan is to lower the safe 10.0 m onto a flat-bed truck. To this end:
    they stack up 1990 kg of office furniture; tie a rope between the
    safe and the furniture; place the rope over a pulley; and lower the
    safe out the window

    We are to assume that the furniture moves with a
    constant velocity and μ^k= 0.35 between the furniture and the floor.

    Will the burglars be apprehended by the police who are located 20 seconds away if at the moment they begin to lower the safe the police are notified?

    2. Relevant equations

    I honestly don't know how to even approach this question, and am unsure of what equation to use.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I am unsure of how to attempt a solution because I'm not exactly sure how to approach this problem. If someone could help walk me through this and explain where to begin, it would be greatly appreciated.

    I dont want to be given the answer, because that doesn't help me on the test. But an equation and an explanation as to how the equation applies to this problem would be awesome! Then I can post an attempted solution, and any additional assistance (should I be incorrect) can be provided.

    Anyone willing to help me get started with this doozie of a problem would be helping me a ton!
  2. jcsd
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