Blocks of masses m1, m2, and m3 are arranged on a frictionless inclined plane at an angle alpha as shown on the diagram. The pulley at the top of the plane is frictionless and massless, and the...

Blocks of masses m1, m2, and m3 are arranged on a frictionless inclined plane at an angle alpha as shown on the diagram. The pulley at the top of the plane is frictionless and massless, and the system is in static equilibrium. What is alpha in terms of m1, m2, and m3?

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Expert Answers
Charlie Hooper eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since the blocks are in equilibrium, use Newton's second law to sum all the components of the gravitational forces that lie along the rope and set them equal to zero. The tension forces are all reaction force pairs and cancel each other out. Then solve for the angle.

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