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Forces problem - Please Help ASAP

A block of mass M = 16 kg with a pulley attached slides along a frictionless ledge. It is connected by a massless string to a block of mass m = 5.2 kg.
(a) Find the acceleration of each block.

(b) Find the tension in the connecting string.



  This question needs a diagram ( or 1000 more words!)  The arrangement of masses, etc is not clear.


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1 Answer

likely answer:  both blocks accelerate 2.5 m/s**2 with string tension of about 38N

remember -- gravity (weight) & inertia are two totally different things

assuming horizontal ledge for 16kg mass

assume pulley directs string downward for 5kg mass - the driving force of weight

driving force 50N (by gravity) accelerates total inertial mass of 21kg of about 2.5 m/s**2

5kg block force diagram -- 50N down opposed by upward string tension to give 2.5 m/s**2 down acceleration leaves about 3/4 of the g=10 m/s**2 pulling up, or 3/4 of 50N, or 38N tension

16kg block pulled by same 38N tension gives about the same 2.5 m/s**2 acceleration