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28 February, 18:44

Consider a locomotive and the rest of a freight train to be a single object. Suppose the locomotive is pulling the train up a hill. Describe the action and reaction forces that cause the locomotive to move up the hill, such as the reaction force and gravity.

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  1. 28 February, 20:04
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    From lowest to highest acceleration:

    3rd train

    2nd train

    1st train

    Explanation:

    The acceleration of an object can be found by using Newton's second law:

    where

    a is the acceleration

    F is the net force on the object

    m is the mass of the object

    We notice that for equal values of the forces F, the acceleration a is inversely proportional to the mass, m. Therefore, greater mass means lower acceleration, and viceversa.

    So, the train with lowest acceleration is the one with largest mass, i. e. the 3rd train consisting of 50 equally loaded freight cars. Then, the 2nd train has larger acceleration, since it consists of 50 empty freight cars (so its mass is smaller). Finally, the 1st train (a single empty car) is the one with largest acceleration, since it is the train with smallest mass.
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