# Do pulleys have no effect on atwood machine?

I was given the following example for an atwood machine:

We should calculate the accelaration of the masses.

The given solution to this problem was the same as like there is just one pulley: $$a=\frac{m1*g}{m1+m2}$$

Can anyone give me a hint or a reason why we can ignore the system of pulleys?

The actual force that is necessary to accelarate m2 should be divided by 2, while the way of the string doubles -> Does this effect balance out any change and it is just the same process as there would be only one pulley?

• Because there is only one point of contact to mass m1, to get the pulley effect you need to attach a pulley to m1 so that it would have 2 (or more) tensions on it. Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 15:00
• Seems like I have totally misunderstood how pulleys work in the first place ^^ So in this case the tension is not changed at all but only put in another direction ? Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 15:46
• Yes, Good article on pulleys here. wired.com/2017/01/physics-of-a-compound-pulley Commented Mar 15, 2019 at 17:38