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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

9
votes
2answers
609 views

Dynamics of counter-rotating flywheels

I've wondered about this for ages. If we create a pair of flywheels that rotate in the opposite direction with the same angular momentum, but are co-located and have the same mass and inertial moment ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Might a planet perform figure-8 orbits around two stars?

Might a planet perform figure-8 orbits around two stars? I'm thinking that if the two stars were equal mass (and not orbiting each other) then a planet that were to go right between them would ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Static Friction - Only thing that can accelerate a train?

I'm a computer programmer that never studied physics in school and now it's coming back to bite me a bit in some of the stuff I'm being asked to program. I'm trying to self study some physics and ...
5
votes
2answers
314 views

Accretion disk physics - Stellar formation

I was going through the Wikipedia page for Accretion disks, and I couldn't comprehend what the meaning of this is: "If matter is to fall inwards it must lose not only gravitational energy but also ...
5
votes
4answers
356 views

Comparing Static Frictions

In this figure, which of the static frictional forces will be more? My aim isn't to solve this particular problem but to learn how is static friction distributed . Since each of the rough-surfaces ...
5
votes
5answers
12k views

Newton's second law of motion in terms of momentum

I am reading a document and in answer to the question State Newton’s second law of motion the candidate answers that The force acting on an object equals the rate of change of momentum of the object. ...
4
votes
1answer
404 views

How is the equation of motion on an ellipse derived?

I would like to show that a particle orbiting another will follow the trajectory \begin{equation} r = \frac{a(1-e^2)}{1 + e \cos(\theta)}. \end{equation} I would like to do this with minimal ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How can an object's instantaneous speed be zero and it's instantaneous acceleration be nonzero?

I'm studying for my upcoming physics course and ran across this concept - I'd love an explanation.
4
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there any true inertial reference frame in the universe?

Is there any true inertial reference frame in the universe? Newton's first law states that an object at rest remains at rest, and an object performing uniform motion performs uniform motion, until ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

The angle of launching an Angry Bird that will land the bird furthest from the launching point is 45 degrees?

This is a question motivated by Angry Birds. When playing the game, I notice that if the initial velocity is constant, the way to land a bird furthest away from the launching point is by launching ...
3
votes
2answers
458 views

A block on a wedge

The system is as follows - Friction exists only between the 2 blocks. I am trying to find out the accelerations of $m_1$ and $m_2$. Let $a_2$ be acceleration of $m_2$, and $a_x$ and $a_y$ be the ...
3
votes
1answer
828 views

Coriolis force in free fall

Does the coriolis force has any measurable effect in free fall from large heights? Take for example the sky diving experiment by F. Baumgartner who started from a height of about 40 km above New ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How to modify the bullet trajectory based on the ballistic coefficient?

I am new to the physics surrounding bullet trajectory and how it is calculated. I am a software developer and I am working on a ballistics calculator for rifles. I am using wiki for the trajectory ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

Foucault pendulum

The equations of motions for a Foucault pendulum are given by: $$\ddot{x} = 2\omega \sin\lambda \dot{y} - \frac{g}{L}x,$$ $$\ddot{y} = -2\omega \sin\lambda \dot{x} - \frac{g}{L}y.$$ What are the ...
2
votes
1answer
897 views

Elastic collision in two dimensions

Suppose a particle with mass $m_1$ and speed $v_{1i}$ undergoes an elastic collision with stationary particle of mass $m_2$. After the collision, particle of mass $m_1$ moves with speed $v_{1f}$ in a ...
1
vote
3answers
938 views

Do objects rotate around the torque vector or its center?

If I have an sphere and I have a torque vector coming out of it at point A. Would the sphere rotate around its center or the axis of the torque vector?
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Preventing a block from sliding on a frictionless inclined plane

I want to demonstrate what force $F$ you would have to exert on an inclined plane of angle $t$, mass $M$ to prevent a block on top of it with mass $m$ from sliding up or down the ramp. I worked out ...
0
votes
3answers
379 views

Friction forces and sliding slabs

I have 2 questions, one generalizing the other. Question 1: Suppose we have 2 slabs resting horizontally on a table. Assume there is friction between the 2 slabs as well as between the bottom slab ...
-6
votes
3answers
212 views

Can you lift a basket up while standing inside it? [closed]

Suppose you stand in a basket and you try to pull the handles of the basket. Will you be able to lift the basket from ground? Similarly, Baron Münchhausen allegedly pulled himself and the horse on ...
4
votes
4answers
90 views

Normal reaction - force without acceleration

When a body lies on the surface of the Earth it is under the influence of gravity. The force on the body due to gravity causes it to exert a force on the ground and the normal reaction acts in the ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Static as opposed to Kinetic Friction in Rolling Motion

During analysis of rolling motion, why do we consider coefficient of friction as that of static friction and not kinetic friction?
4
votes
3answers
181 views

When can one write $a=v \cdot dv/dx$?

Referring to unidimensional motion, it is obvious that it doesn't always make sense to write the speed as a function of position. Seems to me that this is a necessary condition to derive formulas ...
3
votes
2answers
673 views

Conical Pendulum — Can it rotate at 90 degrees?

I have a simple question, can you spin a conical pendulum fast enough so that it rotates at 90 degrees? The equation is $\tan(\theta)=v^2/rg$ , but at 90 degrees, $\tan(\theta)=\infty$ ... so what ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Does Earth's Rotation Affect Its Shape?

The question I am working on is, "Consider the following. (a) Find the angular speed of Earth's rotation about its axis. rad/s (b) How does this rotation affect the shape of Earth?" I am fully ...
2
votes
1answer
652 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
405 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
526 views

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 ...
2
votes
0answers
192 views

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: $T$ = ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
452 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
557 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; ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
342 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
372 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
440 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
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?
1
vote
2answers
706 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
176 views

Why force $F$ is $ma$ but not $md$ or $mv$? How can I observe and understand “force” in real life?

As a layman, i can calculate approx "displacement" just by observing the moving object. And accurately by using a simple "scale". Similarly, again, I can calculate angle from origin by using ...
0
votes
2answers
833 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
400 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
709 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 = ...
0
votes
1answer
446 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
563 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
193 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 | ...