Physics

Three dynamics carts have force sensors placed on top of them.(cart 1, with mass of 2.2 kg, has one sensor --> cart 2, with mass of 2.5 kg, has sensors two and then three --> cart 3, with mass of 1.8 kg, has sensors four then five). Each force sensor is tied to a string that connects all three carts together. You use a sixth force sensor to pull the three dynamics carts forward. (cart 1 being at the back, cart three at the front, right behind the sixth sensor). The reading on force sensor 2 is 3.3 N. Assume that the force sensors are light and that there is negligible friction acting on the carts.

What is the acceleration of all the carts?

The answer is apparently 1.5 m/s/s, but I don't know how to get it! I know acceleration = force/mass, but the force of 3.3N is only on the second sensor so I don't think that would apply for all of the carts. I'm stuck; please help!

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  1. If you just do a FBD on the last cart and ignore all the rest a = F/m = 3.3/2.2 = 1.5
    A classic example of useless smoke and mirrors.

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  2. The force is the same for all the carts so add them up. Then, add up all the mass.

    Net force=massxacceleration
    9.9N=6.5xacceleration
    1.5m/s^2=acceleration

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  3. i dont know the answer this is why i am here to learn the method from this website thank you.

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  4. The acceleration is the same all around as all the carts are connected. Therefore it would be impossible for a cart to have a different acceleration than the others.

    Fnet= ma
    rearranged to:
    a= Fnet/m
    = 3.3/2.2
    = 1.5 m/s^2

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