2
votes
2answers
103 views

What's wrong with my calculation of gravitational potential for a uniform sphere?

This is really embarrassing, but I'm not quite sure where I'm going wrong here... Why is this calculation of the gravitational potential inside a sphere with uniform mass distribution incorrect? ...
3
votes
3answers
161 views

Is escape velocity the same for all objects?

Would a lighter-than-air craft in the mid atmosphere at 80,000 feet altitude need to achieve the same velocity to escape earth gravity as the space shuttle?
22
votes
5answers
4k views

Artificial gravity on rotating spaceship?

One of the possible ways to simulate gravity in outer space is to have a rotating spaceship, so that the centrifugal force experienced provides a gravity-like force. My question is: shouldn't this ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Universal gravity at small distance

Could it be that there is simply a maximum gravitational force that two bodies of finite mass can exert on one another? This would occur at $r=0$, so maybe there is some really really really small $a$ ...
1
vote
4answers
119 views

Gravity and acceleration

I've imagined this little scenario to help me conceptualize things. Let's say we have a doughnut-shaped object with a hole whose diameter is greater than that of a sphere. Let's say that the sphere ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Speed of liquid being blocked at end of pipe

How fast would water go if at the end of of a 1 inch diameter pipe was closed by a valve? The system is as follows: 5 meter high source of water that feeds a 1 in pipe. The pipe goes straight down ...
0
votes
3answers
152 views

In what situations do water levels not reach equilibrium?

I have been taught that water levels will always equal out. However, now I find that sumps and some other setups allow for water not to become equal. What other arrangements allow for the water levels ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

Could each non-dependent physical contant represent dimentions, and our universe be a point on this n-dimentional structure?

For example say the gravitation constant instead of equaling G, was actually a range bounded between 0 and infinity. Our Universe would be at a point on this range (equal to our G value) where ...
1
vote
3answers
135 views

Law of attraction

Could you please explain that since we know Newton's law of Universal Gravitation says all masses attract each other. Thus, we humans should be attracted as well or any other daily life objects. Why ...
2
votes
5answers
660 views

Can we escape earth's gravity slowly?

I had a recent conversation with my girlfriend, who is a physics grad student. She was kind enough to listen to me rant about an idea concerning escape velocity. Unfortunately, I am still thinking ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

How are fictitious forces related to my feeling?

This question arises when I am studying fictitious forces in an undergrad introduction to physics course. Suppose I am standing in an elevator with an acceleration $a$ directed upward. From the ...
1
vote
1answer
191 views

Solving equation of motion of two massive particle exerting the gravitational force each other

I'm trying to analyze the motion of the particles which exert the gravitational force each other. Let $M_1$, $M_2$ be the masses of the particles, and the equation of motion of particle $M_1$ $$ ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

Physics of a cold and hot top

Imagine two tops made up of exactly one thousand atoms. One is kept at 4 degrees Kelvin, the other at room temperature. 1. Would they weigh the same given an arbitrarily precise scale in the Earth's ...
1
vote
1answer
495 views

Do all black holes spin in the same direction?

My question is as stated above, do all black holes spin the same direction? To my knowledge, the spin in the direction of the spin of the matter that created them. Another similar question was asked ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Sideways motion between a vertical launch from a planet and landing [duplicate]

I saw a video some days ago (Hello Kitty in Space) of a schoolgirl successfully launching a balloon into space which later popped and landed ~47 km from launch site. If I vertically launch an object ...
2
votes
1answer
791 views

Calculating projectile range from known maximum height and time traveled

I've been stuck on this problem for many hours and I think I'm onto the right solution but I'm uncertain about my math. I've got a projectile that I know its maximum height and it's hang time and I ...
4
votes
3answers
215 views

Is there a mathematical relationship here or am I looking for relations when there are none?

When I was taking classical mechanics, we dealt a lot with pendulums, and orbiting bodies problems. This lead me to think about the two situations depicted above. Left: Shows two balls of equal mass ...
0
votes
3answers
685 views

Aircraft Level Flight Trajectory

An aircraft climbs to 15000 feet and enters 'level flight' phase. My basic knowledge of physics says that forces on the aircraft at this time are balanced - as seen in this diagram. ...
3
votes
2answers
300 views

Bowling ball on a rubber sheet

After reading a layman's guide to general relativity, I began to wonder what shape a bowling ball on a large rubber sheet would produce. For simplicity, I would like to assume that Hooke's law applies ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the relationship between mass, speed and distance of a planet orbiting the sun?

After reading this fascinating story about a new exoplanet, I was wondering about how mass, speed and distance determine a circular orbit of a planet around a star. Given the mass of the sun and ...
19
votes
3answers
1k views

Why doesn't a fly fall off the wall?

Pretty simple question, but not an obvious answer at least not to me. I mean you can't just place a dead fly on the wall and expect it to stay there, he will fall off due to gravity. At first I ...
2
votes
2answers
527 views

Lever Mechanics - How to formulate an ideal lever launch

Let's say I have a simple lever as shown below, and the lever is massless and the pivot is frictionless and there is no air resistance. I'm thinking the cradle for the projectile would have to have a ...
2
votes
0answers
275 views

include the stretch of the spring own weight in potential energy for spring pendulum?

we are given a problem with spring with its own mass $m$. I am confused how to set up the PE term in the Lagrangian. Assume the spring has length of $L_{0}$ when it is laying on a table horizontally. ...
2
votes
1answer
981 views

The trajectory of a projectile launched from a hilltop

Here is the problem: A boy stands at the peak of a hill which slopes downward uniformly at angle $\phi$. At what angle $\theta$ from the horizontal should he throw a rock so that it has the greatest ...
2
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the exact definition of center of gravity?

I've come across many definitions. Is it 1) The point from which the weight of the body acts, i.e., the point at which if the entire mass of the body is assumed to be concentrated, the gravitational ...
1
vote
1answer
338 views

centrifugal force in static frame of reference

The other day we derived Kepler's third law. $$ \left( \frac{T_1}{T_2} \right)^2 = \left( \frac{r_1}{r_2} \right) ^3 $$ In order to derive this, you can look at a given planet that revolves around ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Initial vs Constant Orbital Velocity

I am working on some basic physics simulation for a game and need to simulate gravity. I have a system working that is behaving more or less correctly so far, but I want to see if I can send a ...
1
vote
2answers
357 views

What method should I use to solve for the final acceleration of a projectile being launched from the earth's surface?

What method should I use to solve for the final acceleration of a projectile being launched from the earth's surface? The question I am working on is: A projectile is launched vertically from ...
4
votes
4answers
250 views

Maximal Gravity

I found this interesting problem in Introduction to Classical Mechanics with Problems and Solutions by David Morin: Given a point $P$ in space, and given a piece of malleable material of ...
29
votes
4answers
5k views

Why can't we feel the Earth turning?

The Earth turns with a very high velocity, around its own axis and around the Sun. So why can't we feel that it's turning, but we can still feel earthquake.
-1
votes
1answer
827 views

Modeling and Simulating Pendulum Motion

I've been having difficulty creating a mathematical model of a pendulum in my code. While there is plenty of info on general equations describing a the motion of a pendulum, I seem to be having ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

How should I REALLY have done this continuous moment formula derivation?

One of my more recent hobbies is making "swords" out of PVC conduit, foam, and duct tape. As all the weight is forward of the cross guards, I needed to put some amount of some substance inside the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Formula for implementing a simulated weighing scale

Background: I'm on the pledge drive committee for a non-profit group, and there is an issue that is always contentious within this group; thankfully the group is amicable, although competitive, about ...
4
votes
7answers
3k views

What properties do you need for building a tower?

When I was a boy I used to daydream about building a tower so tall that the top of it would stick out of the top of Earth's atmosphere project into near space. There would perhaps be a zero gravity ...
3
votes
2answers
511 views

“Work” when biking up a hill

So, when biking, I noticed that when going up hills, it was less tiring if I went up them more quickly. This is not total Work done as is Force * Distance, as that should be the same. But the longer ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Significance of the second focus in elliptical orbits

1.In classical mechanics, using Newton's laws, the ellipticity of orbits is derived. It is also said that the center of mass is at one of the foci. 2.Each body will orbit the center of the mass of ...
1
vote
5answers
568 views

Conserved quantities in generalized n-body problem

Given a collection of point-particles, interacting through an attractive force $\sim \frac{1}{r^2}$. Knowing only $m_1a=\sum_i \frac{Gm_1m_i}{r^2}$ and initial conditions we can deduce the motion of ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Mechanical energy problem

Question goes: "An anvil hanging vertically from a long rope in a barn is pulled to the side and raised like a pendulum 1.6 m above its equilibrium position. It then swings to its lowermost point ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do rockets have multiple stages?

What is the advantage for rockets to have multiple stages? Wouldn't a single stage with the same amount of fuel weigh less? Note I would like a quantitative answer, if possible :-)
11
votes
3answers
870 views

Imagine a long bar floating in space. What force does it exert on itself in the middle due to gravity?

Problem If you had a long bar floating in space, what would be the compressive force at the centre of the bar, due to the self-weight of both ends? Diagram - what is the force at point X in the ...