A 1050 kg car is pulling a 320 kg trailer. Together, the car and trailer have an acceleration of...


A 1050 kg car is pulling a 320 kg trailer. Together, the car and trailer have an acceleration of 2.20 m/s{eq}^2 {/eq} in the forward direction. Neglecting frictional forces on the trailer, determine the following. (Indicate the direction with the sign of your answer. Take the forward direction to be positive).

a) the net force on the car

b) the net force on the trailer

c) the force exerted by the trailer on the car

d) the resultant force exerted by the car on the road magnitude and direction

Newton's Second Law and Connected Systems

A system consists of several objects connected each other by some constraints is termed as a connected system. If the connection ensures the motion of the system as a whole as a single unit we can apply Newtons second law directly to the system as a whole. Two blocks connected by tight string moving on a plane surface can be treated as a connected system. Under a force F the whole system will be moving with some acceleration a. and the Newton's second law for the whole system can be expressed as {eq}F = M a {/eq}. Here M is the combined mass of both the blocks.

  • A multi particle system can also be analyzed by treating each block or particle as an individual object considering all forces acting on it.
  • Each object in the system will have one equation of motion describing its motion.
  • The common acceleration of the system can be obtained by combining all the individual equations of motion.

Answer and Explanation:

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Given data

  • Mass of the car {eq}M = 1050 \ kg {/eq}
  • Mass of the trailer {eq}m = 320 \ kg {/eq}
  • Acceleration of the car and trailer system {eq}a =...

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Practice Applying Force & Acceleration Formulas


Chapter 17 / Lesson 5

In this lesson, we will introduce force and acceleration formulas using Newton's Force Laws and demonstrate kinematic equations, including examples, to solve real-world problems.

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