# Accelerating Wedge

**1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data**

A 45 degree wedge is pushed along a table with constant acceleration A. A block of mass m slides without friction on the wedge. Find the block’s acceleration. Gravity is directed down.

**2. Relevant equations**

Constraint Equation:

[tex]\tan\theta=\frac{\ddot{y}}{\ddot{x}-\ddot{X}}[/tex]

Equations (p is for parallel and p^{2} is for perpendicular, eg. x and y directions):

[tex]F_{pb}=N\sin{\theta}=m\ddot{x}[/tex]

[tex]F_{p^2b}=N\cos{\theta}-mg=m\ddot{y}[/tex]

[tex]F_{pw}=F-N’\sin{\theta}=MA[/tex]

**3. The attempt at a solution**

It’s embarrassing how this problem seems difficult for me; I’m probably making some fundamental error somewhere.

Newton’s 3rd Law: [itex]N=N'[/itex]

[tex]N=\frac{m\ddot{x}}{\sin{\theta}}=\frac{m(g+\ddot{y})}{\cos{\theta}}[/tex]

Because the angle is 45 degrees, the tangent of theta is just 1. Solving for the x acceleration, we get:

[tex]\ddot{x}=(g+\ddot{y})[/tex]

Now, according to the constraint equation, the acceleration in the y direction is equal to the tangent of theta times the x acceleration of the block minus the x acceleration of the wedge itself. Following the constraint equation, I get:

[tex]\ddot{y}=(g+\ddot{y})-A[/tex]

(tangent of 45 is 1). There is no way to solve for the y acceleration here. If, back when I solved for the normal force, I included the tangent of theta, I would’ve been able to solve for the acceleration but I would have to divide by zero, which means there is no y acceleration. The hint, however, states otherwise: If A = 3g then the y acceleration is g. Where am I going wrong? I’m going to try and solve for the y acceleration instead of the x acceleration first and see where that takes me.

http://ift.tt/1oDzHOU

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