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)

1
vote
2answers
707 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
2answers
103 views

Tangential acceleration in circular motion?

A lot of my problems have objects moving in circular paths with tangential and normal components of acceleration. If the tangential component is non-zero though, the speed is changing so the radius ...
0
votes
4answers
177 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
922 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
406 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
723 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
2answers
783 views

Linear motion with variable acceleration

Consider the following problem I pull a mass m resting at x = 0 on a frictionless table connected to a spring with some k by an amount A and let it go. What will be its speed at x=0? I know how to ...
0
votes
1answer
460 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
604 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 | ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Vertical component of moving weight at a 45 degree angle

Here's an easier one. I use the leg press machine at the gym so I don't have to worrying about hurting myself while lifting heavier weight. The weight glides on a track that looks to be 45 degrees. ...
-5
votes
1answer
78 views

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?
48
votes
8answers
11k views

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 ...
52
votes
4answers
6k views

Moon's pull causes tides on far side of Earth: why?

I have always wondered and once I even got it, but then completely forgot. I understand that gravity causes high and low tides in oceans, but why does it occur on the other side of Earth?
33
votes
6answers
35k views

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 ...
29
votes
6answers
1k views

Can I survive a free fall using a ramp and a rope?

Can I survive a free fall by carrying a very light and resistant ramp using a rope? Note: lets assume the ramp is a little bit heavier at the bottom and I am very skilled at making it always land ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

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
20
votes
3answers
869 views

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. ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

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? For example, a boat leaning into a turn: ...
16
votes
6answers
1k views

Why does a system try to minimize potential energy?

In mechanics problems, especially one-dimensional ones, we talk about how a particle goes in a direction to minimize potential energy. This is easy to see when we use cartesian coordinates: For ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
309 views

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, ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

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 ...
8
votes
2answers
258 views

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 ...
6
votes
1answer
748 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
19
votes
1answer
660 views

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 ...
19
votes
1answer
971 views

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 ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do whips hurt so much?

What exactly is the mechanism that makes a whip deliver such a strong impact? Elasticity, torque, or pressure? Just hitting something with a plank doesn't deal nearly as much damage. What's the ...
13
votes
6answers
22k views

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" ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

What exactly are Hamiltonian Mechanics (and Lagrangian mechanics)

What exactly are Hamiltonian Mechanics (and Lagrangian mechanics)? I want to self-study QM, and I've heard from most people that Hamiltonian mechanics is a prereq. So I wikipedia'd it and the entry ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Trouble with classical mechanics self-learning (How to avoid going down the Physics rabbit hole?) [duplicate]

I'm a retired police officer trying to learn classical mechanics on my own. I have gone through many links on the Internet including the classical mechanics quick reference textbooks from Physics ...
7
votes
6answers
9k views

What do people actually mean by “rolling without slipping”?

I have never understood what's the meaning of the sentence "rolling without slipping". Let me explain. I'll give an example. Yesterday my mechanics professor introduced some concepts of rotational ...
7
votes
9answers
2k views

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 ...
5
votes
5answers
7k views

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: ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
320 views

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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Two people pushing off each other

If there are two people on ice skates named $A$ and $B$, and $A$ pushes on $B$ with a force $F_A$, then both of them will experience a force of magnitude $F_A$ in opposite directions. I'm confused as ...
0
votes
2answers
153 views

An intuitive proof of Bertrand's theorem

Is there a way to see that Bertrand's theorem is true intuitively. I mean without getting into too much mathematics ?
0
votes
2answers
3k views

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?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
756 views

Can a particle have momentum without energy?

Can a particle have linear momentum if the total energy of the particle is zero? Even if a particle has a certain velocity, can its potential energy cancel out the kinetic energy as to add to zero ?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the physical significance of the off-diagonal moment of inertia matrix elements?

The tensor of moment of inertia contains six off-diagonal matrix elements, which vanishes if we choose the principle axis of the rotating rigid body and the components of the angular momentum vector ...
6
votes
1answer
768 views

Slinky base does not immediately fall due to gravity

Why does the base of this slinky not fall immediately to gravity. My guess is tension in the springs is a force > mass*gravity but even then it is dumbfounding.
6
votes
8answers
2k views

Can you completely explain acceleration to me?

I understand what acceleration is, and I know the formula, and I understand it's a vector. I just don't understand how the equation works exactly. I'm kind of picky, I know, but bear with me. ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Can an object accelerate to infinite speed in FINITE time (Newtonian)?

Obviously this is impossible in relativity; however, if we ignore relativity and use only Newtonian mechanics, is this possible? How (or why not)?
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a good Modern English translation of Newton's “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” available for free viewing or download?

I have found several nice versions available for purchase, but all of the free ones are either Latin, old English, or pixellated. I searched google and was only able to locate the free ones linked to ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Elementary derivation of the motion equations for an inverted pendulum on a cart

Consider a cart of mass $M$ constrained to move on the horizontal axis. A massless rod is attached to the midpoint of the cart, having a mass $m$ on its endpoint. See wikipedia for a picture and for a ...
4
votes
3answers
189 views

Finding the equation of motion of anharmonic potential [closed]

If I have a potential given by: $$U=U_0\left[2\left(\frac xa\right)^2-\left(\frac xa\right)^4\right]$$ It says that at $t=0$, the particle is at the origin ($x=0$) and the velocity is positive and ...
4
votes
2answers
243 views

Thrust center in space

I have this dilemma: Suppose you have a space ship somewhere in deep space, where there is no drag force or substantial gravity. If the ship has a single engine situated in such a way that the center ...