Atwood's Machine

A weight-and-pulley system devised to measure the acceleration due to gravity at the Earth's surface by measuring the net acceleration of a set of weights of known mass around a frictionless pulley.

The acceleration of the masses is given by:

where
a = acceleration of the masses [ms-2]
m1, m2 = mass [kg]
g = standard acceleration due to gravity [ms-2]

The tension in the string is given by:
where
T = tension in string [N]

See also: Standard Acceleration due to Gravity.

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Subjects: Physics