Problem: Suppose the pulley in the figure is suspended by a cord C.Determine the tension in this cord after the masses are released and before one hits the ground. Ignore the mass of the pulley and cords.

FREE Expert Solution

In this problem, we're asked to determine the tension in a system involving multiple objects.

You might remember this kind of arrangement is called an Atwood Machine.

As usual for any problem that involves a system of objects, we'll follow these steps:

  1. Draw free-body diagrams for each object we're interested in.
  2. Write Newton's Second Law Equation ∑F=ma for each object, remembering that is the same for both
  3. Solve for the target variable

In step 1, we'll need a positive direction of motion to guide the sign conventions for the motion of the two masses.

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Problem Details

Suppose the pulley in the figure is suspended by a cord C.

Determine the tension in this cord after the masses are released and before one hits the ground. Ignore the mass of the pulley and cords.

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What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Forces in Systems of Objects Connected by Pulleys concept. You can view video lessons to learn Forces in Systems of Objects Connected by Pulleys. Or if you need more Forces in Systems of Objects Connected by Pulleys practice, you can also practice Forces in Systems of Objects Connected by Pulleys practice problems.