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March 25, 2017

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Two blocks are in contact on a frictionless table. A horizontal force F is applied to M2, as shown. If M1 = 1.06 kg, M2 = 3.80 kg, and F = 4.85 N, find the size of the contact force between the two blocks.

If instead an equal but oppositely directed force is applied to M1 rather than M2, find the size of the contact force between the two blocks.

  • Physics - ,

    F=>M2=>F1=>M1
    On the frictionless table, both will have an acceleration a.

    Draw the free-body-diagrams (FBD) and conclude that
    M2.a = (F-F1)
    M1.a = F1
    using Newton's second law.

    Solve for F1 and a.

    Part (b) can be found in a similar way.

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