Atwood's machine


Mass of block 1 (on the left)
0.1 kg 2.0 kg
1.2
Mass of block 2 (on the right)
0.0 kg 2.0 kg
1.0

The simulation illustrates an Atwood's machine, which is simply two blocks connected by a string passing over a pulley. In this version of the simulation, the mass of the pulley is negligible - that leads to the tension being the same everywhere in the string.
Note that the magnitude of the tension is always in between the magnitude of the force of gravity acting on block 1 (blue) and the magnitude of the force of gravity acting on block 2 (red).

Given the limits on the sliders in the simulation, and the fact that the simulation uses 10.0 m/s/s for g, what are the most positive and most negative values that can be obtained for the acceleration?

Simulation first posted on 8-25-2016. Written by Andrew Duffy

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at http://physics.bu.edu/~duffy/classroom.html.

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