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Two objects are connected by a light string passing over a light, frictionless pulley as shown in the figure below. The object of mass m1 = 5.40 kg is released from rest at a height h = 2.60 m above the table.

(a) Using the isolated system model, determine the speed of the object of mass m2 = 3.00 kg just as the 5.40–kg object hits the table in meters per second.

(b) Find the maximum height above the table to which the 3.00–kg object rises in meters.

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Step 1

(a)

The total energy of an isolated system must be conserved. Take the table as the reference for heights. Initial energy of the system is equal to the potential energy of object of mass 5.40 kg. The energy of the system as the object of mass 5.40 kg hits the table will be equal to the kinetic energy of the two masses and the potential energy of object of mass 3.00 kg. The two masses will be moving with the same speed due to the strained string.The equation for the conservation of energy for the system is given by,

Step 2

(b)

Mass m1 will be on the table. When mass m2 reaches the maximum height, its speed will be zero. The equation for the conservation of e...

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