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The Pulley Machine


Two weights of varying masses are attached to the same string, separated by a frictionless disk. With this setup, you can examine tension forces, potential energy and kinetic energy.




The pulley problem illustrates a correlation between a shared tension force and acceleration, seen through $$F_{tension} = mg + ma$$ $$F_{tension} = Mg - Ma$$ $$\therefore a = \frac{g(m-M)}{m+M}$$



George Atwood


A system like this is called an Atwood's machine and was invented by George Atwood in 1784 as a laboratory experiment to verify the mechanical laws of motion with constant acceleration.

[George Atwood]