Atwood Machine

  • Atwood Machine - two objects are connected by a light string over a massless pulley

  • Ideal pulleys are frictionless and massless (they add no inertia to the system)

  • Tension is constant in a light string passing over an ideal pulley

Solving Atwood Machine Problems

  1. Adopt a sign convention for positive and negative motion

  2. Draw a free body diagram for each mass

  3. Write Newton's Second Law equations for each mass

  4. Solve for unknowns

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Alternate Solution

  • Analyze the system as a whole


Mass and Pulley on a Ramp

string over a massless pulley as shown. Assuming a frictionless surface, find the acceleration of rn2.

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