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Patent Ribbon Atwood Machine


Creator: UoD_Museums on 17 Sep 2011, 6:22 p.m.

The Atwood machine was invented in 1784 by Rev George Atwood as a laboratory experiment to verify the mechanical laws of motion with constant acceleration. Two objects are connected by a massless string over a massless pulley. If the two objects have equal mass, the machine is in neutral equilibrium regardless of the position of the weights. If they have different masses, both experience uniform acceleration. By calculating the tension force and the weight of the two masses, it is possible to derive an equation for the acceleration.

This compact example (ideal for classroom experiments) was made by George Cussons Ltd of Manchester in c.1920s-30s.