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Work energy principle problem

  1. Oct 2, 2008 #1
    A samll mass is hanging from an air track system with a mass of 10 grams. It is connected to a glider with a mass of 120 grams. The air track makes on angle of .35 degrees with the horizontal. Assume that the hanging mass and the glider are initially at rest.

    a) if the mass drops a distance of 60 cm how much potential energy does it lose?

    b)how far does the glider rise vertically when the small mass drops 60 cm

    c) What is the increase in potential energy of the glider when it rise the given distance in the the previous problem

    d)what is the total change in the potential energy of the two?

    e)ignoring frictional losses what would be the final speed of the glider?

    2. Relevant equations

    no idea, what to use for this problem I would think I use the conservation of mrchanical energy equation.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I have no idea how to even start please help!!! This is a pre lab and I need to undestand this stuff so I can do well with the lab its self
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2008 #2


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    GPE = mgh
    That is Gravitational potential energy = mass * acceleration due to gravity * height
    mass in Kg
    acceleration due to gravity is 9.81ms^-2
    height in metres
    GPE is measured in Joules.

    This should get you going. You might need another equation but I can't think what it would be.
  4. Oct 2, 2008 #3
    I did that and I got negative 58. 9 Joules but then how do I figure out b?
  5. Oct 5, 2008 #4


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    Gold Member

    -58.9 J. Doesn't sound right. I'm not sure with the glider. Do you have a pic of the setup and can you post it here?
  6. Oct 5, 2008 #5


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    Gold Member

    Thats good. I don't know what this system looks like though so I don't know what equations to use. Why would the glider rise, surly it should fall under gravity.
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