Determine the magnitude of the apparent weight of a 56 kg student standing in an elevator when the elevator is experiencing an acceleration of (a) 3.2 m/s^2 downward and (b) 3.2 m/s^2 upward.

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W = m*a
When it's going up, acceleration is: g+a, when it's going down acceleration is g-a

a) total a = -9.8-3.2 = -13
W = 56*(-13)N

You see, here's what I did for a and b.

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