Atwood's Machine

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A basic example in Newtonian mechanics is Atwood's machine, which consists of a pulley and two masses. The problem is to calculate the acceleration of the masses. (Their magnitudes are equal but are of opposite sign.) If the masses are equal, the system remains in equilibrium. Note that the time to fall is not "real time".

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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