Tensions between a Chain of Blocks

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Four blocks initially at rest are joined by a cable. Three of them slide on a table (with coefficient of kinetic friction ) and the fourth hangs from a pulley. You can vary the masses of the first three blocks; the fourth block's mass is constant at 3 kg. This Demonstration calculates the tensions and acceleration of the components of the system.

Contributed by: Enrique Zeleny (January 2012)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


Snapshots


Details

The equations for the tensions and accelerations are

, where is the acceleration due to gravity,

,

,

.



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