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Unformatted text preview: EXPERIMENT ATWOOD’S MACHINE AND NEWTON’S SECOND LAW Introduction: If an object accelerates under the influence of a constant force, its acceleration may be found from knowledge of the time required to travel a known distance. The distance of travel s , the initial velocity u , the time of travel t , and the constant acceleration a , are related by s = u o t + ½ at 2 (1) If the object is initially at rest (i.e. u o =0 ), then Eq.(1) can be solved for the acceleration in terms of the distance and time as a = 2 s / t 2 (2) Consider a system of two masses m 1 and m 2 (with m 1 >m 2 ) that are connected by a string of fixed length which passes over a pulley as shown in Figure 1. If the masses are released, then mass m 1 will accelerate downwards and mass m 2 will accelerate upwards at the same rate. Let us assume the pulley and string are massless, and the pulley bearing is frictionless. Let z 1 and z 2 be the respective vertical distances of the masses m 1 and m 2 above the floor. From the free body diagrams of the two masses, we have m 1 a 1 = T 1 – m 1 g (3) and m 2 a 2 = T 2 – m 2 g (4) But we also have...
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2011 for the course PHY 135 taught by Professor Wagihghobriel during the Spring '11 term at University of Toronto.

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