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ERIC Number: EJ945880
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Atwood's Heavy Chain
Beeken, Paul
Physics Teacher, v49 n8 p470-472 Nov 2011
While perusing various websites in search of a more challenging lab for my students, I came across a number of ideas where replacing the string in an Atwood's machine with a simple ball chain like the kind found in lamp pulls created an interesting system to investigate. The replacement of the string produced a nice nonuniform acceleration, but one that my AP[R] students found difficult to analyze given their current math background. As the year progressed, we began to explore the importance of work and its utility in making predictions on systems that did not lend themselves to easy analysis using Newtonian mechanics. The effort made it apparent that the heavy rope Atwood's machine would make a perfect system for investigation using the lessons gained from work and energy. (Contains 3 figures.)
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A