
tension
A car towing a trailer along a straight horizontal road.
The mass of the car is 1200kg and the mass of the trailer is 600kg
The car's engibe produces a forward force of 5400N
The car and trailer have an acceleration of 2.5m/s^2
i)find the total resistance acting on the car and the trailer
This resistance is dicided between the car and the trailer in the same ratio as their masses.
ii)Find the tension in the towbar connecting the car and the trailer.
Thanks

hi there,
part i)
well basically this is Newton's second law of motion, F=ma;
where,
F = resultant force acting on the system(car and trailer)
m = mass (car and trailer)
a = acceleration (car and trailer)
therefore applying Newtons second law of motion:
Driving force  Frictional force = ma
5400  Frictional force = ma
Frictional force = 5400  ma = R
part ii)
the ratio of mass of the car to that of the trailer= 1200:600 = 2:1
therefore,
the frictional force acting on the car = $\displaystyle \frac{2}{3}R$
the frictional force acting on the trailer = $\displaystyle \frac{1}{3}R$
considering the trailer:
now it is given that the trailer is accelerating at $\displaystyle 2.5ms^{2}$, using Newton's second law of motion again:
tension in the towbar  frictional force on the trailer = $\displaystyle m_t a$
where,
$\displaystyle m_t$=mass of the trailer = 600kg
tension in towbar = $\displaystyle m_t a$ +frictional force on the trailer.
I think you can continue from here. good luck in finding the answer ^^