Fri November 11, 2011 By:

what happens when two unequal masses are on the sides of atwood machine and they are released?

Expert Reply
Sat November 12, 2011

In an Atwood’s machine apparatus two sets of unequal masses are suspended from a string on either side of a pulley.  The larger mass, m2, provides a net force, Fnet = (m2-m1)g, thereby causing both masses to accelerate according to Newton’s 2nd Law of Motion, Fnet = (m1+m2)a. Combining these 2 equations, the acceleration can be calculated by the equation,  ac = [(m2-m1)/ (m1+m2)]g.

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