PHYS 250 Worksheet for Dynamics Problems 1. Make a sketch of the problem showing all objects and surfaces involved. 2. In an area away from your overall sketch, isolate EACH object in the problem by drawing a free-body force diagram for the object. This diagram should show all of the forces acting on the object (and ONLY forces acting ON the object). Identify each force with an appropriate UNIQUE vector symbol. 3. Select a convenient coordinate system for each force diagram and indicate the coordinate axes on your diagram(s). 4. Write each force in component representation (either using unit vectors or using column vectors). Express magnitudes as positive quantities and use + or - signs to indicate directions. 5. Symbolically write the acceleration vector for each object. Be sure that the components of the acceleration that are trivially zero are written as zeros and that the accelerations of multiple objects are consistent with each other. 5. If there is more than one object in the problem identify any possible action-reaction pairs. These forces will have equal magnitudes and opposite directions. 6. Apply Newton's Second Law in vector form to EACH object. 7. Resolve the vector equations into component equations, and solve the resulting algebraic system of equations for the unknown quantities. 8. Check the results for appropriateness, correct units, etc.
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