Atwood's machine

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An early arrangement for measuring the acceleration of gravity, called Atwood's Machine, is shown in the figure. The pulley P and cord C have negligible mass and friction. The system is balanced with equal masses M on each side as shown (solid line), and then a small rider m is added to one side. The combined masses accelerate through a certain distance h, the rider is caught on a ring and the two equal masses then move on with constant speed, v. Find the value of g that corresponds to the measured values of m, M, h, and v.


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Michael A. Gottlieb  (html, 3k)


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