Classical mechanics refers to the classical (i.e., non-relativistic, non-quantum) study of physics. Three major formulations of classical mechanics are newtonian mechanics, lagrangian mechanics, and hamiltonian mechanics. The latter two are rather useful in extensions to Classical Mechanics; ...

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Are Uncertainties in Measurements Important?

In the first lecture of MIT's Classical Mechanics Prof. Lewin highlights the importance of uncertainties in measurements by quoting "Any measurements, without the knowledge of uncertainty is ...
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I think there is something wrong with this problem. How do you know if the vertical acceleration is zero?

Suppose a block with mass 3kg is on a frictionless table and a force of 15N pulls it from an angle of 38 degrees above the horizontal. 1) What is the apparent weight of the block? 2) What is the ...
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Can we describe the classical laws of physics in a frame-of-reference-independent way?

First of all, I am not a physicist, so I cannot guarantee things I say will make sense. I will try my best, though. In classical mechanics we have the notion of inertial frame of reference. If my ...
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Define Pressure at A point. Why is it a Scalar?

I have a final exam tomorrow for fluid mechanics and I was just looking over the practice exam questions. They do not provide solutions. But pretty much I have to define pressure at a point and also ...
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How does the speed of an incoming pitch affect the speed of a baseball after it's hit?

Which will go further if a batter manages to hit it with a baseball bat: a baseball thrown to the batter at 90 miles per hour or one thrown at 60 miles per hour?
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Real world examples for projectile thrown upwards or downwards

I am preparing a physics course for high school about projectile motions. If a projectile moves with initial velocity $v_0$ in the gravitational field of the earth, the equation $$ s(t) = 1/2 g t^2 ...
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What symmetry causes the Runge-Lenz vector to be conserved?

Noether's theorem relates symmetries to conserved quantities. For a central potential $V \propto \frac{1}{r}$, the Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector is conserved. What is the symmetry associated with the ...
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Some questions about the logics of the principles of independence of motion and composition of motion

In high-school level textbooks* one encounters often the principles of independence of motion and that of composition (or superpositions) of motions. In this context this is used as "independence of ...
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Calculating stress without strain

I am working on an algorithm for a real-time simulation. I would like to calculate to extremely permissive tolerances approximate values for the stress within a 2D geometry. It will not be difficult ...
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Why do balls in a spinning ellipsoid move to the minor axis plane?

There is a question concerning the Physics of a small child's tall that has been bothering me for some time now. I have investigated this to a small degree, but I have not been able to find a ...
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224 views

Is the number of independent constants of a system equal to the number of degree of freedom of it?

Maybe the question is not very clear myself since I am not a physics major.But can you help me make this question clearer and then give me some comments on it? I got that this holds in gravitional ...
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why is mechanical waves faster in denser medium while EM waves slower?

Why is it that mechanical waves/longitudinal waves/sound travel faster in a denser/stiffer medium as in steel compared to say air, while EM waves/trasverse waves/light travels slower in a (optically) ...
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Is it possible to recover Classical Mechanics from Schrödinger's equation?

Let me explain in details. Let $\Psi=\Psi(x,t)$ be the wave function of a particle moving in a unidimensional space. Is there a way of writing $\Psi(x,t)$ so that $|\Psi(x,t)|^2$ represents the ...
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Testing the temperature of an open flame

How, and what device do you need, to obtain the exact temperature of an open flame? For the purpose of this question, you wanted to maintain 375 degrees. You can control the flame, but have no idea ...
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702 views

What are some interesting coupled harmonic oscillators problems?

That I could create as a classical mechanics class project? Other than the classical examples that we see in textbooks.
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Dimensional Analysis: Buckingham Pi Theorem

I am studying for a fluids quiz and I am having a few problems relating to dimensional analysis but for the time being fundamentally I have a problem selecting the repeating variables. Like does ...
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Effect of rotation on turbulence threshold for Reynolds number?

If the significance of the Reynolds number is: Then what is the effect of angular momentum on the transition from laminar to turbulent as in a convective vortex? Waterspouts, in particular, seem ...
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Principle of Least Action; Newton's 2nd Law of Motion

This question is based on the description of Longair in his book "Theoretical Concepts in Physics". He starts by giving some provisions: Conservative force field Fixed times $t_1$ and $t_2$ Object ...
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What are some interesting calculus of variation problems? [closed]

That I could create as a classical mechanics class project? Other than the classical examples that we see in textbooks (catenary, brachistochrone, Fermat, etc..)
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Do we know how matter moves matter?

I was surprised when reading an apologetics book recently that attempted a rebuttal of the claim that "An immaterial mind cannot interact with the physical order." Here was the response: How could ...
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Ice cream cone and loop-de-loop

Was siting in class thinking about this problem, did some rough sketches of a solution but never really managed to solve it. Assume a boy starts at the top of a circle with radius R as described ...
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Why does this object periodically turn itself?

See this video about 30 sec in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL6Pt1O_gSE Is this a real effect? Why does it seem to turn periodically? Can it be explained by classical mechanics alone? Is there a ...
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Tree level QFT and classical fields/particles

It is well known that scattering cross-sections computed at tree level correspond to cross-sections in the classical theory. For example the tree level cross-section for electron-electron scaterring ...
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What happens to temperature when pressure is constant in a cylindrical piston of saturated liquid ammonia?

Let's say I have a cylindrical piston containing saturated liquid ammonia that is fitted with an electrical heater and a paddle wheel for stirring at an initial pressure and an initial temperature. ...
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320 views

How should a closed-ended terrestrial trajectory be corrected for the Coriolis effect?

I have tried verifying the numerical integration of the Coriolis effect for 1000 to 2000-yard rifle fire by switching ON/OFF the Coriolis correction of a good ballistic simulator program (PRODAS). The ...
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Book against a wall and forces

If you take a book with mass of 1kg and push it against the wall. With how much force do you have to push the book so it does not fall? The problem is I know how to calculate this problem, you say ...
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Proof of the Hydrostatic weighing equation?

I've been trying to derive this equation for about two hours: But I can't seem to get it. In my class, we are using it to accurately measure the volume of irregulary-shaped objects, but I ...
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How fast does force propagate through matter? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it possible for information to be transmitted faster than light? Consider the following thought experiment. You have a long perfectly rigid beam (for the sake of ...
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1answer
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Finding induced current in a loop at an instant [closed]

I'm working on this problem; however, I cannot seem to get anywhere. Given information: The rectangular loop in the figure has 2.1x10^-2 ohm resistance. What is the induced current in the loop at ...
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1answer
983 views

Problems that Lagranges equations of the 1st kind can solve whereas the 2nd kind can't?

Can anyone give examples of mechanics problems which can be solved by Lagrange equations of the first kind, but not the second kind?
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A ball inside a cavity

Seems not a trivial problem: There is a semi-cylindrical cavity, with radius $R$ as shown in the Figure. A small ball (point mass for simplicity) with an initial horizontal velocity $v$ flies into ...
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Canonical momentum in different coordinate system

The canonical momentum is defined as $p_{i} = \frac {\partial L}{\partial \dot{q_{i}}} $, where $L$ is the Lagrangian. So actually how does $p_{i}$ transform in one coordinate system $\textbf{q}$ to ...
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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 ...
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Error caused by pulley eccentricity [closed]

Not sure if this is perfectly a physics question: A rope is wrapped around a cylinder of diameter D. The cylinder is slightly eccentric so that the distance between the axis of the cylinder and the ...
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Is there a measure of internal energy flow?

A system might have internal energy and/or kinetic energy. Kinetic energy in classical mechanics is a form of energy the object has, only because of its relative movement to other objects. If you ...
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Bungee jump physics

Question: A bungee jumper jumps from a bridge. The length of the loose rope is 30 m. When the jumper reach the lowest point possible, the rope stretches 10 m. What is the final stretch of the rope, ...
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How can I model a polyatomic molecule as a system of coupled oscillators?

(Classical Mechanics) Let's say I have a polyatomic molecule, what is the best way for finding the equations of oscillations if they are bounded by a torsion spring?
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1answer
280 views

Additional accelerating force during take off of a rocket?

During the take off of a rocket, the exhaust produces some pressure below the rocket, which gives an additional force. How large is this force in comparison to the force produced directly by the ...
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1answer
311 views

Does a thermally expanding torus experience internal stress?

I'm trying to learn continuum mechanics and thermo-mechanics. As we know, heating an object increases the mean atomic distance $a_0$ of the atoms in a rigid body. Let's assume it is a linear elastic ...
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Is instantaneous velocity an abstraction?

In introductory analysis, the discussion the derivative emphasizes that while average rates of change are measurable, instantaneous rates of change are a "limiting abstraction". While this makes ...
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1answer
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What is force times angle?

I'm looking at an explanation of pendulums, and the following is said: What I don't understand is where it says "if restoring force is given by $mg\theta$..." - conceptually, what is a force times ...
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Yield Strength versus Ultimate Strength

What is the qualitative difference between these two: As seen on the table Typical yield and ultimate strengths. I am trying to resolve the meaning of the phrase "contact yield stress" from C. ...
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1answer
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Force on rope with accelerating mass on pulley

I have a pretty basic pulley problem where I lack the right start. A child sits on a seat which is held by a rope going to a cable roll (attached to a tree) and back into the kid's hands. When it ...
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4answers
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Applications of recoil principle in classical physics

Are there any interesting, important or (for the non physicist) astonishing examples where the recoil principle (as special case of conservation of linear momentum) is applied beside rockets and guns? ...
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How can you test to see if a dice is weighted?

I was browsing Etsy today and came across this. What tests are there to see if the dice are usable, ie, if one side isn't favored over another, and if all sides are balanced? Would this just be to ...
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Movement of a nudged block on a high friction surface

If I apply a single force to an object ‘floating in free space’, then it will either translate (if the force is in line with the Cof G ) or more generally it‘ll rotate about the C of G due to the ...
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Classical car collision

I have a very confusing discussion with a friend of mine. 2 cars ($car_a$ and $car_b$) of the same mass $m$ are on a collision course. Both cars travel at $50_\frac{km}{h}$ towards each other. They ...
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Impulse situation

I am wondering if a physical system subjected to an impulse $=A\delta(x-a)$ makes any sense. I reckon that a force could take that form -- thought of as a finite impulse applied over an infinitesimal ...
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1D Wave mechanics (string)

Suppose I have a wave traveling to the right described by $e^{iw(t-{x\over c})}$. (It obeys the 1D wave equation). AND at $x=0$, there is a mass $M$ fixed to the string such that we have $M{d^2y\over ...
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The gravitational potential of ellipsoid

In the literature (Kirchhoff G. - Mechanic (1897), Lecture 18 or Lamb, H. - Hydrodynamics (1879)) one can find the following analytical closed form expression for the gravitational potential of ...