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March 30, 2017

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A block of mass m is attached to a string and suspended inside an otherwise empty box of mass M. The box rests on a scale that measures the system’s weight. (a) If the string breaks, does the reading on the scale change? Explain your reasoning. (b) Assume that the string breaks and the mass m falls with constant acceleration g. Find the magnitude and direction of the acceleration of the center of mass of the box–block system. (c) Using the result from (b), determine the reading on the scale while m is in free-fall.

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