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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How to determine velocity and mass of asteroid 2011 CQ1

As you may have seen, a small asteroid had a near miss with the earth a few days ago. As a physics teacher teaching momentum, I think this could be an excellent problem for my students, however, I ...
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5answers
138 views

Airplane on a treadmill - Variant Thought Experiment

This thought experiment is in a way related to the (in)famous airplane on a treadmill problem. If you take a ball and place it on a treadmill, will the ball: Move backwards relative to the ground ...
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117 views

Conversion of angular momentum to linear momentum in free space

If two objects both with angular and linear velocity collide in free space, can the total linear velocity of the objects increase at the expense of a loss in angular momentum? In other words, imagine ...
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2answers
70 views

Which has the larger change in momentum [closed]

This is a concept question in my physics class, It isn't for marks, its just to gauge your understanding of the subject. I'm not sure if I have the right idea. since the mass of block A is 4 times ...
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587 views

Half-atwood machine with accelerating pulley

This is a follow-up to my previous question, in which I am now trying to calculate the acceleration of the cart (as before, the block surfaces are frictionless). The mass $m_2$ is attached to $M$ via ...
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536 views

Advantages/Disadvantages of “hanging off” a motorcycle when leaning

The closest question I could find with regards to this subject was this one: Countersteering a motorcycle However, it does not address the specific physics of what I would like to know. There are 3 ...
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4answers
6k views

Physics of the inverted bottle dispenser

When you invert a water-bottle in a container, the water rises and then stops at a particular level --- as soon as it touches the hole of the inverted bottle. This will happen no matter how long your ...
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3answers
109 views

Why can't we define a potential energy for a non-conservative force? [closed]

We could define potential energies for non-conservative forces too and then we could conserve it with kinetic and potential energy as we know it. But no one does that. Why is this? Please explain. Any ...
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103 views

do the planes of electron orbits make an angle?

if we think as the electrons around the atoms classically, then as the two electrons in the first shell (1s) go around the nucleus; do the planes of orbit make an angle with each other (as an average) ...
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69 views

Taking time derivative of two dependant variables

I'm not entirely sure if this is correct. I have to take the time derivative of the following: $$\frac{d}{dt}mr^{2}\dot{\phi}$$ Now, both $r$ and $\dot{\phi}$ depends on the time $t$, so I have to ...
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1k views

Transmission of energy in medium and wave nature (periodicity)? [closed]

Is there any example of a transmission of energy in a medium that does not show wave nature?
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3k views

How much torque does it take to turn a doorknob? [closed]

How much torque does it take to turn a doorknob? I'm not looking for an exact answer, just a ballpark for someone who doesn't have a sense of everyday amounts of torque. Here's a very ordinary ...
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4th equation of motion

Ive been given the 4 equations of motions The fourth being: $$s=ut+\frac{1}{2}at^2$$ If rearranged it forms the quadratic equation $$at^2+2ut-2s=0$$ But that means that t has 2 values. Will ...
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74 views

Free particle and harmonic oscillator coupled

I'm currently playing with a toy model given by the Lagrangian $$L=\frac{m\dot{x}^2}{2}+\frac{m\dot{y}^2}{2}+\frac{1}{2}m\omega^2x^2+x y,$$ which is basically a free particle (described by $y(t)$) and ...
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125 views

Why is the trajectory of the alpha particle in a cloud chamber almost straight?

This question baffled me since high school. Presumably, the alpha particle has collided with macroscopically large number of molecules when it makes a macroscopically large displacement. One would ...
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150 views

When does the angular momentum point in a different direction from the angular velocity?

I read this somewhere: $$\mathbf{L} = \tilde{\mathbf{I}}\mathbf{\omega}$$ In general, the angular momentum vector, $\mathbf{L}$, obtained from Equation above, points in a different direction to the ...
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234 views

What if a particle falls into the center of a central field? [closed]

Given a central field $U(r)$ satisfies $U(r) \rightarrow -\infty$ when $r \rightarrow 0$, then What if a particle falls into the center of a central field? Can you help me analysis this question in ...
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512 views

Whats wrong with this perpetual machine?

Consider a cube of mass M resting on a rough surface such that the coefficient of friction between the cube and the surface is K. So in order to just slide the cube I need to apply a minimum force of ...
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2k views

what energies do the wheels of a moving car posses?

I saw this question in a test. I would have answered kinectic energy due to rotation and translation. It that correct. Else what is the answer? Oh no, i forgot to mention it was objective type ...
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3answers
5k views

Convert running speed uphill to equivilent speed on flat

Given a certain running pace uphill, I want to be able to determine an equivalent pace running with no elevation change. Assumptions: similar effort in both cases (say for example running at 90% max ...
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4answers
98 views

Question on the constraint force of a string

I would like to know if the following statement is true or false even if I expect that it is true. Notation: I will consider a string that has no mass and that can not be extended. Saying that a ...
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2answers
335 views

Why does Lagrangian of free particle depend on the square of the velocity ?

Why does Lagrangian of free particle depend on the square of the velocity ? For example, $L(v^4)$ also doesn't depend on direction of $v$.
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When does not Newton's 3rd law apply?

Is Newton's 3rd law valid in non-inertial frames? If so, then are there other cases for which Newton's 3rd law is not applicable?
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2k views

How to determine an exponential acceleration curve?

I've always been not so bad in mathematics, but I'm terribly bad at physics. For me, abstract concept are totally understandable, but when it come to reality, I'm lost ! So, for my job, I need to ...
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174 views

How fast will the projectile go the second time?

Say I have a linear motor [aka rail-gun] and use a x amount of electrical power. I fire the gun and the object exits at velocity v. I then reuse the same object as my projectile and fire the rail-...
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941 views

D'Alembert's Principle and the term containing the reversed effective force

For our Classical Mechanics class, I'm reading Chapter 1 of Goldstein, et al. Now I come across Eq. (1.50). To put it in context: $$\begin{align*} \sum_i{\dot{\mathbf{p}_i} \cdot \delta\mathbf{r}...
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246 views

How could pinion in automatic quartz watch be rotated at 100K RPM?

Wikipedia article on automatic quartz watch describes the watch mechanism as follows: a rotating pendulum is attached to a pinion and when the wearer moves his hand the pinion is rotated at up to 100 ...
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1k views

In a 2D problem with a thrown object, why is the acceleration along the x-axis equal to 0?

I'm starting Physics, and I don't understand why the acceleration along the x-axis is zero for an object thrown near the surface of the Earth. This may be problem specific, but I wouldn't know since I ...
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1answer
66 views

Springs, elastic potential energy, kinetic energy

If a ball with some kinetic energy collides with a spring, the ball doesn't lose its kinetic energy in an instant, right? it loses kinetic energy as the spring gains potential elastic energy. Right? ...
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70 views

What information am I losing out when I assume that the displacement in S.H.M. is small?

While making calculations for simple harmonic motion, we take the force as $F=F(x)$. Then we use Taylor's expansion and calculate as follows: $$\begin{align} F(x) &=F(0+x) \\ & = F(0)+xF'(0)+...
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4answers
75 views

Detached wheel from a moving vehicle speed

If a wheel is detached from a moving vehicle, would it speed be higher than the vehicle? Why?
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103 views

Where does the spring's energy go?

I have learned that ideal spring has no mass. Suppose, I attach a ideal spring (spring constant $K$) to a wall and pull it a distance $x$ it will have a potential energy $U = \frac{1}{2}Kx^2$ and if I ...
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428 views

Why is walking up stairs harder than walking normally?

I must admit, I'm pretty new to studying physics and I know this is a simple concept but I'm having difficulty understanding it. I've tried reading the questions here but I just need a little bit of ...
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1answer
125 views

Why does $\omega = \sqrt{V''(x_0) / m}$?

I know that in an equation such that $$\ddot{x} + \omega^2x = 0,$$ the angular frequency $ = \omega$. But why is that ever $ \sqrt{V''(x_0) / m}$? (where $x_0$ is the equilibrium point). I just saw ...
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1answer
88 views

Will dynamo generate electricity with reverse spin?

Will a dynamo generate electricity when it is spinning in opposite direction? If we alternate the rotation direction every minute, will it still generate electricity? How?
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176 views

Where does the energy go when you stretch a rubber band?

There is resistance when you stretch a rubber band. That makes sense to me because the energy you exert is turned into potential energy of the rubber band, but if you hold the rubber band in the same ...
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1answer
118 views

Lagrangian for free particle in special relativity

From definition of Lagrangian: $L = T - U$. As I understand for free particle ($U = 0$) one should write $L = T$. In special relativity we want Lorentz-invariant action thus we define free-particle ...
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2answers
278 views

Pendulum point in polar coordinates for Lagrangian

So I'm really stumped with this. I have a particle in a cone, like pictured. The particle orbits the z axis on the dotted line for $r$. So knowing that $\alpha$ and $r$ remain constant in this ...
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1answer
85 views

Given an initial push, is work done on an object infinite in a hypothetical empty universe?

Consider a hypothetical empty universe containing a single object. Given an initial push, will the work done by the forever moving object be infinite?
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1answer
223 views

Question about resolving forces

Say, in the example below, the weight $mg$ of the object is $800N$. To find $R$, the conventional method is to use $R\sin(28^\circ) = 800$. But why isn't it possible to use instead the component of ...
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82 views

Query into the cumulative velocity of mounted platforms

Consider throwing a stone at an object from rest, it travels at Vms-1. Now throw that stone whilst running at Ums-1. It seems in the latter scenario the total speed of stone is V + U. Now imagine ...
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1answer
106 views

Kinetic energy and temperature

I've randomly been thinking about smoothies and internal energy all weekend. If we have an assortment of fruit in the solid phase and then proceed to blend it all so that it ends up being in the ...
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1answer
901 views

Resisting force depends on velocity? [duplicate]

Why does resisting force depend on velocity? I think there is no relation between resisting force and velocity of object. Please speak about it logically.
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2answers
143 views

Hamiltonian equations: can I divide a solution of motion for a constant?

I'm solving an exercise about Hamiltonian equations. I have followed the proceeding below. The results given by the book are different to mine because its first result is the half of mine (and the ...
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2answers
1k views

Is it reasonable for a heavy door to “open by itself” (ie from differences in air pressure) if it had already been slightly ajar?

If you consider a basically uniform massive door (say, 300 N) where there is some coefficient $\mu_{s,k}$ of static and kinetic friction between the thing on the inside of the door, and where the ...
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2answers
38k views

Formula for a ball rolling down an Inclined Plane

Suppose we set up an experiment where we have an inclined ramp, and a spherical basketball. If we were to assume the ball to be perfectly round, and rolls down in a vertical manner and the situation ...
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1answer
231 views

Violation of conservation of energy and potential energy between objects

I would like to clarify my question. I have numbered them to be independent questions For any conservative fields, $\vec{F} = -\nabla U$. Which means the restoring force is opposite to the ...
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2answers
303 views

Under what conditions do the Galilean transformatons become more accurate?

For S and S' in standard configuration, the Galilean transformations are: x' = x - vt, y' = y, z' = z, t' = t From the Lorentz transformations for v << c: x' = x - vt, y' = y, z' = z, t' = t -...
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50 views

what is the physical meaning of area moment of inertia?

In our applied mechanics class, we studied about area moment of inertia. Our teacher only explained the mathematical relation of this term that is product of area and square of the perpendicular ...
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2answers
36 views

Protecting astronauts from G's when taking off/landing

When landing from orbit or launching from the ground to orbit (with chemical rockets or other means of fast acceleration), could one place the astronauts in a centrifuge and spin it to protect them ...