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# Mechanics: Atwood Machine

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An Atwood machine consists of masses of 1.5 kg and 1.66 kg on opposite sides of a light frictionless pulley. The system is given an initial velocity of 1.15 m/s in the direction of the 1.5 kg mass.

* How much work does gravity do on the system between the initial instant and the instant at which the system comes to rest, and how much work is done by the system against gravity during this time?

* How far does the system therefore travel during this time (solve using energy considerations)?

* How are the work done by the system and its kinetic energy change related?

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Step by step calculations and explanations are provided for a problem regarding an Atwood machine.

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An Atwood machine consists of masses of 1.5 kg and 1.66 kg on opposite sides of a light frictionless pulley. The system is given an initial velocity of 1.15 m/s in the direction of the 1.5 kg mass.

a) How much work does gravity do on the system between the initial instant and the instant at which the system comes to rest, and how much work is done by the system against gravity during this time?

b) How far does the system therefore travel during this time (solve using energy considerations)?

c) How are the work done by the system and its kinetic energy change related?

Solution:

See attached file for step by step solution and diagrams.

Forces acting on the system are shown in the fig.. Weights of the two masses m1g and m2g act vertically downwards and tension in the string acts vertically upwards on each mass.

Let acceleration of each mass be a (we ...

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