Tagged Questions

General questions about the way objects move and interact. This tag should be used when the tags for certain kinds of mechanics (newtonian-mechanics, classical-mechanics, quantum-mechanics, etc.) are too specific.

76 views

Surface normal on the earth to the sun at a given point in time

How complicated is it to calculate a surface normal on the spherical approximation of the earths surface pointing towards the sun at a given point in time? What I try do is to highlight a small area ...
287 views

How did L.H. Thomas derive his 1927 expressions for an electron with an axis?

I'm looking at the 1927 paper of Thomas, The Kinematics of an Electron with an Axis, where he shows that the instantaneous co-moving frame of an accelerating electron rotates and moves with some ...
293 views

Calculating torque of actuators? [closed]

How do you calculate the torque of a brushless dc electric motor? How do you calculate the torque of a hydraulic motor? How do you calculate the push and pull force of a double acting hydraulic ...
533 views

Integrals of Motion

Landau writes in chapter 2 of his Mechanics book "The number of independent integrals of motion for a closed mechanical system with s degrees of freedom is 2s-1". Then he goes on to show how -- "Since ...
476 views

Does the phase space (configuration and momentum space) of particles have a Euclidean norm? Does it have a useful meaning of “distance”?

Often in engineering physics, different vector spaces are used to visualize the trajectories (evolution) of systems. An example being the 6n dimensional phase space of n particles. It is not very ...
938 views

“Regular” 20-sided die, vs “life counter” 20-sided die. Same probabilities?

Regular dice are made such that opposite sides of the die add to 1+the number of sides. For example, a 20-sided die has 14 and 7 opposite of each other, adding to 21. For certain types of games, ...
391 views

What is the highest energy position for a double pendulum? And for which energy positions is it chaotic?

Math/physics teachers love to break out the double pendulum as an example of chaotic motion that is very sensitive to initial conditions. I have some questions about specific properties: For a ...
170 views

Tracking photon color in Bell experiments

In parametric down-conversion, it is said that a driving photon is converted into two entangled photons whose frequencies add up to the driving frequency. Yet in discussions about entanglement ...
185 views

Coincidence detectors in Bell tests: How close is close enough?

When is a coincidence a coincidence? We know that to identify entangled photons, the electronics is set to look for simultaneous clicks at opposite detectors. The size of the window is to some degree ...
230 views

Which actuator is more effective: pneumatic, hydraulic, or electric? [closed]

For an system that amplifies strength by about two (press capacity of 400 lbs.), which would be the most practical, or the most compact? A pneumatic system that uses air cylinders or air muscles, A ...
174 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 ...
1k views

A spinning bullet

I know the rifling in a gun or rifle puts a spin on the bullet along the axis of trajectory. Now I donâ€™t understand exactly what does it make the trajectory more stable and the travel grater?
542 views

Stress vs Strain for mild steel

After Yield point on stress strain diagram the under curve occurs what does it mean what will happen for the mild steel at that particular time and again why the curve goes to up and reaches ...
370 views

Wave equations & propagation theories

I'm interrested in making computer simulation but I've run into rather physics oriented problem. I have to choose how to propagate my wave. Though I've found technique called FDTD (finite-difference ...
426 views

Spinning bucket of water in zero gravity

Everyone knows how the surface of a spinning bucket of water would look like on earth - parabolic. But what if we turned off gravity (for instance by doing the experiment in a freely falling lift)? ...
143 views

Displacement due to sinusoidal load on a finite strip in an infinite plane

From a paper on tunnel design I've been reading: (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0886779887900113) In the present application, the solu- tion corresponding to a sinusoidal load ...
289 views

What, if anything, makes forces the “cause” and acceleration the “effect”? [closed]

We typically say that forces cause acceleration inversely proportionate to mass. Would it be any less correct to say that acceleration causes forces proportionate to mass? Why? (Note that the ...
269 views

a question on Lagrange's equation when the time derivative of the generalized co-ordinates is constant

Consider a system whose generalized co-ordinates are $q_i$ and is under the constraints $\dot{q_i} = K_i \forall i = 1,2,3,...$ where $K_i$ are constants. I have a problem in writing the Lagrange's ...
110 views

Sum of angular momentum of all electrons in a magnet

Can the sum of angular momentum of all rotating electrons in all the aligned atoms in a permanent magnet have a significant contribution to the macro angular momentum of the magnet? If yes, why does ...
217 views

significance of maxima and minima of time varying kinetic energy of a system

Consider a system of particles where the kinetic energy of the system is varying with time. I'd like to know the significance (or meaning) of the time derivative of the kinetic energy being zero at a ...
131 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 ...
1k views

How do you produce electricity from a wind mill?

How does a spinning windmill produce electricity?What is the principle behind the windmill?
131 views

Mechanical work to required battery power

I have a very practical question where I've calculated the mechanical work needed by a simple mechanical system by solving the line integral $W = \int_C \ F \ dx$. However, since I have a black spot ...
607 views

Forget Hooke's law. Why does a spring exert a force?

Forgetting Hooke's law for a minute why, from a microscopic perspective (preferably quantum) on up to a macroscopic one, does a spring under tension exert a force? I was thinking that there might be ...
204 views

purely hypothetically, could a quantum being appear to be human? I ask for the purpose of research on a novel [closed]

I am a budding novelist, and im researching a few things for a fictional narrative. the characters are from other dimensions and i want to present a coherent scientific structure. any suggestions ...
320 views

How fast do I need to go in order to avoid being seen by the Police?

I was driving down the road at roughly the speed of traffic. I saw a police officer parked on the side of the road, and also noticed that a Semi was traveling in the lane right next to him. This got ...
518 views

Does decoherence explain all instances of wave function collapse?

Specifically, how can decoherence explain the appearance of flecks of metallic silver on a photographic plate when exposed to the very weak light of a distant star? EDIT: Perhaps the advocates of ...
333 views

Why trimming the mainsail gives a larger torque to head up

I am learning sailing on a 5m catamaran (Nacra 5). I am familiar with basic aerodynamics and the physics of the sail and keel. We learned that when sailing closed hauled, too tight a mainsail tends ...
389 views

Distance traveled by a projectile into a block

This problem is part of one of the free response questions on the 2011 AP Physics C Mechanics exam [PDF of free-response questions] that was administered last week. (Sorry the problem statement is so ...
1k views

How is the shape of the blades of an air fan determined? Trial and error, or is there a theory behind it? What are they trying to maximize, volume of air dislocated per rotation?
700 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 ...
4k views

Which Mechanics book is the best for beginner in math major?

I'm a bachelor student majoring in math, and pretty interested in physics. I would like a book to study for classical mechanics, that will prepare me to work through Goldstein's Classical Mechanics. ...
5k views

What is the difference between Newtonian and Lagrangian mechanics in a nutshell?

What is Lagrangian mechanics, and what's the difference compared to Newtonian mechanics? I'm a mathematician/computer scientist, not a physicist, so I'm kind of looking for something like the ...
189 views

Does angry birds have randomness or just chaos [closed]

Does angry birds have randomness or just chaos?
155 views

Why can you assume that the angular momentum vector of a top will always track its axis of rotation?

My favorite physics 101 textbook (Giancoli) explains precession in terms of a spinning top whose axis is tilted from the vertical. The way the book sets things up, $L$ (angular momentum) points along ...
1k views

Distribution of forces

(little background: I'm trying to develop a small, quick 'n dirty static physics engine to determine whether a stacking of boxes is stable). If I have a 3D rigid box (with the bottom in the ...
2k views

What are the Constraints on Building a Tower to Space?

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 ...
522 views

How do anti-lock brakes know when to brake?

When you come to a stop normally, the brakes don't pulse when you stop. Since the car can only know its speed by the rotation of the wheels, how can it distinguish between the car is stopped normally ...
483 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 ...
2k 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 ...
521 views

Most elegant/fundamental formulations of the laws of classical mechanics?

Newton tried to do it with three laws/statements. While the first can be derived from the second, the three form a pretty nice framework. Later on, I've encountered Lagrangian Mechanics, which ...
5k views

What is the difference between a moment and a couple?

In mechanical engineering, the torque due to a couple is given by $\tau = P\times d$, where $\tau$ is the resulting couple, $P~$ is one of the force vectors in the couple and $d$ is the arm of the ...
314 views

How does solar activity affect the ISS?

Currently the sun is launching some intense solar flares. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/17/solar-flares-northern-lights-uk Th article I've linked also mentions how a "coronal mass ...
565 views

Impulse - distance question

What impulse should be applied to an object of mass m, having a known coefficient of friction u to get to a distance d ? Thanks! Update 14.02.2011: I still wasn't able to find an answer to this. ...
451 views

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 ...
364 views

Shaking a jar of balls

A jar is filled with two types of balls, red and green. Red balls have radius $r_1$ and mass $m_1$, green balls have radius $r_2$ and mass $m_2$. If initially the balls are randomly placed throughout ...
2k views

Homework Help - Physics / Calculus III / Force-Work Problem

I have tried to answer the problem correctly, and I have found similar (and even an identical) problem in my textbook, yet I still can't seem to yield the correct answer with this specific problem. ...
600 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 ...