Newtonian mechanics covers the discussion of the movement of classical bodies under the influence of forces by making use of Newton’s three laws. For more general discussion of energy, momentum conservation etc., use classical-mechanics, for Newton’s description of gravity, use newtonian-gravity.

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The Double Integrator: Matching velocity and position as quickly as possible with only a limited amount of force available

If a body with mass $m$ begins at position $x_0$ with velocity $v_0$ and experiences a force that varies as a function of time $f(t)$ (and we ignore gravity, friction, and everything else that might ...
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572 views

Kinematics with non constant acceleration

A particle experiences an acceleration described by $$ a=kx^{-2} $$ where x is the displacement from the origin and k is an arbitrary constant. To what value does the velocity v of the particle ...
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130 views

Explanation of a Foucault pendulum

The equations of motion of a Foucault pendulum is given by: $$\ddot{x} = 2\omega \sin\lambda \dot{y} - \frac{g}{L}x$$ $$\ddot{y} = -2\omega \sin\lambda \dot{x} - \frac{g}{L}y$$ where $\omega$ is ...
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Skiing downhill

The other day on skiing holiday we've been arguing about whether an adult has weight advantage over a child when skiing downhill. I was claiming that gravity is a constant regardless of object's ...
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Rolling (without slipping) ball on a moving surface

I've been looking at examples of a ball rolling without slipping down an inclined surface. What happens if the incline angle changes as the ball is rolling? More precisely I've been trying to find ...
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2D Car Physics including Throttle

For a simulation for testing on automatic cruise control, I came across the equation: $$ v_{n+1} = (1 - k_1 / m) v_n + (1 - k_b) \begin{pmatrix} T_n \\ θ_n \\ \end{pmatrix} $$ where: $T$ = ...
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Why is the center-of-mass of 2 bodies at the focus of their elliptical orbits?

Why is the center-of-mass of 2 bodies (which interact only via Newtonian gravity) located at a focus of each of the elliptical orbits? I know that when there are no external forces, the center of ...
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381 views

Train crash: are these situations alike? [duplicate]

I was just wondering... I believe that if a car travelling 50 miles per hour crashes into a wall, the result should be the same as crashing to another car also travelling 50 miles per hour (but in the ...
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536 views

What is the probability that a half dollar coin lands on heads?

I recently found a half dollar coin in my basement. It's strange but I think when you flip it, that heads is a big favorite to land face up! I really could have sworn I heard that somewhere before; ...
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1answer
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Man on a rope task

Some time ago I came across this simple task. Instead of describing it a lot I will just post a picture and try to explain like that. So the man and the weight on the other side of the rope have ...
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2answers
279 views

Ice skater increase of energy

This may be a very basic question but I am not seeing how it works. Consider the standard example of an ice skate rotating about his/her center of mass and pulling in his/her arms. The torque is zero ...
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1answer
317 views

Time of a ball going up and down with air resistance

A ball is shot directly upward, and then it comes back to the place where it was shot. Suppose we have air resistance. Suppose $t_1$ is the time period from the moment that the ball was shot to the ...
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1answer
929 views

Direction of friction on particle placed on a rotating turntable

If a particle is placed on a rotating turntable then the particle has a tendency to slip tangentially with respect to the underneath surface... So the friction should act tangentially to the ...
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1answer
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Trajectory of projectile thrown downhill

I'm teaching myself mechanics, and set out to solve a problem determining the optimum angle to throw a projectile when standing on a hill, for maximum range. My answer seems almost plausible, except ...
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3answers
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Flying a toy helicopter inside an accelerating train [duplicate]

Scenario: You ride in a train, you have this helicopter toy. The train is not yet running when you flew your helicopter on a constant altitude (say 1 meter above the train's floor). Question: What ...
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1answer
116 views

How to find the value of the parameter $a$ in this transfer function?

I am given a transfer function of a second-order system as: $$G(s)=\frac{a}{s^{2}+4s+a}$$ and I need to find the value of the parameter $a$ that will make the damping coefficient $\zeta=.7$. I am not ...
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413 views

How could this damped oscillator ever go to infinity? Or negative infinity for that matter?

This is an ODE problem,but I cannot visualize why it can go to infinity or negative infinity. Consider $$x'' -6x' + 8x = 0$$ Where $x''$ is acceleration, $-6x'$ is the ...
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How to prove that a motion is Simple Harmonic Motion (SHM)?

I would like to know how one could show and prove that a given motion is simple harmonic motion. Once given an answer, I'll apply that technique to an example I am trying to figure out. Thank you ...
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4k views

Would a light or a heavy ball roll fastest down a slope?

A small, light ball and a larger, heavier ball are released from the top of a slope. Which will move further? which will come down faster?
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689 views

What is a Free Body Diagram?

I have this problem: A 10 kg box is resting on a frictionless table and someone drags it by a string at a 30 degree angle to the horizontal with a force of 40 Newtons. Find the acceleration of the ...
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4answers
80 views

Newtonian physics vs Special relativity - what is the most “relative”?

This might be a question purely of words and the meaning of them but isn't Newtonian physics more "relative" than Einstein's Special relativity? Newtonian physics predicts that laws of momentum & ...
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3answers
170 views

Will an object resting on a rotating platform move in a frictionless world?

Imagine that a pebble is placed on a uniformly rotating, frictionless disk. What will happen to this pebble? Will the disk slide under it and the pebble stay as is? Or will there be a centrifugal ...
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Why doesn't mass of bob affect time period?

Please correct me if I'm going wrong - By the gravitation formula: $F = \frac{G m_1 m_2}{r^2} $, So if the mass of a bob is greater then the torque on it should increase because the Force increased ...
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1answer
386 views

Mass points of a Mass-spring model

Let's say I have a mass spring model like the one in the picture below: So, there are 3 parts of the spring joined together in an equilateral triangular manner. Each of the joints has a mass of ...
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1answer
640 views

Elastic Collision And Momentum

The question I am working on is, "Two blocks are free to slide along the friction-less wooden track shown below. The block of mass $m_1 = 4.98~kg$ is released from the position shown, at height $h = ...
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419 views

Calculating torque in a structure

I posted this on math stack exchange but realize it is more a physics question. I have a structure which is set up as shown in the image. A weight hangs from point A with mass $m$. Joint B is free ...
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488 views

Time taken for object in space to fall to earth

The Problem For a small mass a distance $R_i$ away from the center of the Earth, how long would it take for the object to fall to the surface of the Earth, assuming that the only force acting upon the ...
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181 views

Question about interaction between three objects

I have been thinking of Newton (insert bad words because of frustration) laws for hours and hours today, and I'm not going anywhere. I'm going insane! So, I made up this question. Object A | ...
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Ascertain the height an object has fallen from given force exerted and mass [closed]

An object of a given mass falls from an unknown height. If the force exerted by the object on contact with the ground is known, how would you ascertain the height from which the object fell?
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Proof that the Earth rotates?

What is the proof, without leaving the Earth, and involving only basic physics, that the earth rotates around its axis? By basic physics I mean the physics that the early physicists must've used to ...
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Is there a way for an astronaut to rotate?

We know that if an imaginary astronaut is in the intergalactic (no external forces) and has an initial velocity zero, then he has is no way to change the position of his center of mass. The law of ...
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Could someone jump from the international space station and live?

Felix Baumgartner just completed his breathtaking free-fall skydiving jump from $120,000\,\text{feet} = 39\,\text{km}$ above the Earth, breaking the speed of sound during the process. I was wondering ...
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Why Won't a Tight Cable Ever Be Fully Straight?

I posted this picture of someone on a zipline on Facebook. One of my friends saw it and asked this question, so he could try to calculate the speed at which someone on the zipline would be going ...
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How does a mobile phone vibrate without any external force?

How does a mobile phone vibrate without any external force? By Newton's law, any body can't move without any external force
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A rope attaches the Moon to the Earth. What happens?

Consider the Earth (mass $M$, radius $R$, rotating about its own axis at $\Omega$) and the moon (mass $m$, radius $r$, with axial rotation equal to $\omega_m$), whose centre of masses are $d$ apart. ...
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Is there a deep reason why springs combine like capacitors?

I was solving a practice Physics GRE and there was a question about springs connected in series and parallel. I was too lazy to derive the way the spring constants add in each case. But I knew how ...
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Is force a “real thing”, or a tool for explaining changes in measurable phenomena?

My physics text says that force is "an interaction between two bodies or a body and its environment." When an object undergoes acceleration we explain it with a force. But we don't measure force, ...
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Intuitive explanation of why orbits are closed?

Yesterday my brother asked me how orbits work. Suppose for the sake of the question that you are trying to put a rocket in orbit around the Earth. I explained that orbiting is essentially being in ...
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When is the principle of virtual work valid?

The principle of virtual work says that forces of constraint don't do net work under virtual displacements that are consistent with constraints. Goldstein says something I don't understand. He says ...
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What happens, if a rocket is filled with a vacuum instead of high pressured air?

Suppose you put wheels under a compressed air tank so that it can move horizontally to the right and to the left. Suppose there is a nozzle on the right hand side of the tank (in the picture on the ...
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What determines the angle of the cushion on a pool table?

If you look at the cushions (bumpers) on a pool table, you'll see that they're not vertical. They're tilted inwards. About 10 years ago, I came across a physics exam in which one of the problems ...
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Why do ships lean to the outside, but boats lean to the inside of a turn?

Small vessels generally lean into a turn, whereas big vessels lean out. Why do ships lean to the outside, but boats lean to the inside of a turn?
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Is Melancholia's orbit impossible?

In the 2011 movie Melancholia, a planet, also called Melancholia, enters the solar system and hits the Earth. I want to leave aside the (also unreasonable) aspect that planet "hides behind the Sun" ...
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Is the normal force a conservative force?

Most of the time the normal force doesn't do any work because it's perpendicular to the direction of motion but if it does do work, would it be conservative or non-conservative? For example, consider ...
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9answers
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How to explain independence of momentum and energy conservation in elementary terms?

I'm trying to explain to someone learning elementary physics (16 year old) that linear momentum and energy are conserved independently. I'm not a professional physicist and haven't tried to explain ...
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Why there is a 1/2 in kinetic energy formula? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is there a $\frac 1 2$ in $\frac 1 2 mv^2$? Hèllo, I have a question about kinetic energy formula. As you know, in kinetic energy formula, we have: ...
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Solving a statically indeterminate truss

I'm trying to solve the statically indeterminate truss shown below and I'm having a little trouble. $H$, $P$ and $\beta$ are given. The material is aluminum (density is 2700 ${kg/m^3}$) and has a ...
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Book suggestions for foundation of Newtonian Mechanics

I'm not looking for books which deal with the mathematical foundations of Newtonian mechanics. What I'm looking for are modern books which deal with conceptual foundations of Newtonian mechanics - by ...
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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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An example which contradict to Newton's 3rd law?

Let a,b be two charged particles. $$\vec{r}_a(0)=\vec{0}$$ $$\vec{r}_b(0)=r\hat{j}$$ $$\vec{v}_a(t)=v_a \hat{i}$$ $$\vec{v}_b(t)=v_b\hat{j}$$ In which both $v_a$ and $v_b$ $<<c$. Then ...