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MasteringPhysics: Assignment Print View Applying Newton's 2nd Law Learning Goal: To learn a systematic approach to solving Newton's 2nd law problems using a simple example. Once you have decided to solve a problem using Newton's 2nd law, there are steps that will lead you to a solution. One such prescription is the following: Visualize the problem and identify special cases. Isolate each body and draw the forces acting on it. Choose a coordinate system for each body. Apply Newton's 2nd law to each body. Write equations for the constraints and other given information. Solve the resulting equations symbolically. Check that your answer has the correct dimensions and satisfies special cases. If numbers are given in the problem, plug them in and check that the answer makes sense. Think about generalizations or simplfications of the problem. As an example, we will apply this procedure to find the acceleration of a block of mass that is pulled up a frictionless plane inclined at angle with respect to the horizontal by a perfect string that passes over a perfect pulley to a block of mass that is hanging vertically. First examine the problem by drawing a picture and visualizing the motion. Apply Newton's 2nd law, , to each body in your mind. Don't worry about which quantities are given. Think about the forces on each body: How are these consistent with the direction of the acceleration for that body? Can you think of any special cases that you can solve quickly now and use to test your understanding later? One special case in this problem is if , in which case block 1 would simply fall freely under the acceleration of gravity: . Part A MasteringPhysics: Assignment Print View Consider another special case in which the inclined plane is vertical ( ). In this case, for what value of would the acceleration of the two blocks be equal to zero?... View Full Document