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 (3)

24
votes
7answers
12k views

Why Won't a Tight Cable Ever Be Fully Straight? [duplicate]

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 ...
7
votes
6answers
905 views

Is Newton's first law something real or a mathematical formalism?

Why do objects always 'tend' to move in straight lines? How come, everytime I see a curved path that an object takes, I can always say that the object tends to move in a straight line over 'small' ...
-9
votes
6answers
3k views

Does Newton's third law apply to momentum or to forces?

I read all the previous answers concerning the 3rd law and I have seen that it is definitely not universal, (Edit: but conservation of momentum is. If it is not universal it should be not a problem to ...
7
votes
4answers
483 views

Earth's Kinetic energy change

Earth's rotational speed varies. I have checked the data an found following Peaks; Year 1998, 23.May, the Earth rotated in 86400.0023738 seconds. At 9.July the rotation time of the Earth was 86400....
14
votes
7answers
7k views

Why do we fall down when the bicycle slows down? [duplicate]

My question is: It is easy to balance a bicycle when it is moving at a fairly high velocity, say 7 m/s or 25 km/hr. But when a bicycle slows down, it is hard to keep it upright, and the person riding ...
8
votes
6answers
570 views

How can tangential acceleration from a radial force be explained?

A mass is attached to a rope, and put into a circular motion. If I pull the string from the center, the tangential speed of the mass will increase (by conservation of angular momentum). I am ...
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the second law of thermodynamics a fundamental law, or does it emerge from other laws?

My question is basically this. Is the second law of thermodynamics a fundamental, basic law of physics, or does it emerge from more fundamental laws? Let's say I was to write a massive computer ...
5
votes
3answers
883 views

How can I relate linear and angular motion using a single formula?

I want to relate linear and angular motion using a single formula. Assume I have a 10m rod, and I apply a force of 5N on it, 2.5m away from the axis of rotation for 1s. How can I determine the ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does the cart move? [duplicate]

A while ago someone proposed the following thought experiment to me: A horse attached to a cart is resting on a horizontal road. If the horse attempts to move by pulling the cart, according to the ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Newton's first law: is his concept of (force of ) inertia still useful and used?

The force of inertia is the property common to all bodies that remain in their state, either at rest or in motion, unless some external cause is introduced to make them alter this state. That is ...
25
votes
1answer
1k views

Is gecko-like friction Coulombic? What is the highest known Coulombic $\mu_s$ for any combination of surfaces?

Materials with large coefficients of static friction would be cool and useful. Rubber on rough surfaces typically has $\mu_s\sim1-2$. When people talk about examples with very high friction, often ...
10
votes
6answers
73k views

What is the difference between stress and pressure?

What is the difference between stress and pressure? Are there any intuitive examples that explain the difference between the two? How about an example of when pressure and stress are not equal?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How do levers amplify forces?

This is really bothering me for a long time, because the math is easy to do, but it's still unintuitive for me. I understand the "law of the lever" and I can do the math and use the torques, or ...
6
votes
5answers
511 views

Infinities in Newtons law of gravity (for point particles)

Newtons law of gravity for two particles of mass $m_1$ and $m_2$ is: $G\frac{m_1.m_2}{r^2}$. Supposing that the particles are point particles then gravitional attraction will bring them closer ...
5
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
16k views

Rotating a stone with a string

Suppose we are given a stick and a stone tied to the stick by a string. Now if we rotate the stone around the stick the stone rises in height (see picture below). My question is which force accounts ...
11
votes
8answers
21k views

Is gravity a force and if so what is its opposite?

For every force there is an equal force in the opposite direction on another body, correct? So when the Suns gravity acts on Earth where is the opposite and equal force? I also have the same ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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 I'...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Put a bullet into orbit around the moon

While I was watching this beautiful video, the absence of air friction pushed me to ask myself: While standing on the surface of the moon, what is the initial velocity by which you can fire a bullet ...
7
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does Newton's third law exist even in non-inertial reference frames?

While reviewing Newton's laws of motion I came across the statement which says Newton's laws exist only in inertial reference frames except the third one. Why is it like that?
3
votes
1answer
127 views

Non-deterministic particle system

This question is in the spirit of Norton's dome, an example of an apparently non-deterministic system in Newtonian mechanics. Under certain restrictions, the Picard–Lindelöf theorem guarantees the ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

Projectile Motion with Drag

The overall goal is to write a Mathematica program that will compute the launch angle that will yield the greatest range with using [RandomInt] function, but I was having trouble with the physics. In ...
0
votes
6answers
668 views

Can energy be created and destroyed?

The indroduction of the principle of conservation of mechanical energy has been tremendously useful from the practical point of view. But .. Consider the case in which we shoot an electron up in the ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

High speed does not kill. Does acceleration do it ? or jerk?

In a recent question the OP asked why high speed will not kill us. The accepted answer, highly upvoted, stated very first that Speed doesn't kill us, but acceleration does. The second answer (...
4
votes
1answer
885 views

How does Newton's 2nd law correspond to GR in the weak field limit?

I can only perform the demonstration from the much simpler $E = mc^2$. Take as given the Einstein field equation: $G_{\mu\nu} = 8 \pi \, T_{\mu\nu}$ ... can it be proved that Newton's formulation ...
3
votes
2answers
779 views

Path to obtain the shortest traveling time

Asume we have a particle sitting at the point A(0,0) in a gravitational field. (g=9.81) It is going to move along some path to the point B(a,b) Where a>0 and b<0. What is the curve the particle ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Countersteering a motorcycle

Everyone knows the story about countersteering. For those who don't I will explain it below and after the explanation i will ask my question. You can watch this short video as a beginning: http://www....
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
823 views

Why doesn't an orbiting body keep accelerating?

As a physics newbie I'm trying to get a grip on basic orbital mechanics. I think I'm beginning to get grasp on how bodies interact with each other. When a body approaches another body it accelerates ...
1
vote
4answers
293 views

Centre of instantaneous rotation problem

Is there a point of Centre of Instantaneous Rotation (CIR) for every type of motion or only for cases of rolling?
1
vote
1answer
259 views

Rigid Body Mechanics In a vacuum (no gravity) [closed]

I am writing a physics engine to map the rotary and translatory movements of a uniformly dense solid cylinder within 3d space. If a vectored thrust is applied to one end of the cylinder at an ...
0
votes
2answers
285 views

If Earth starts moving when attracted by an object, where does the energy come from?

Suppose a body(very big but not bigger than Earth) moves against gravitational force of Earth. The force will do negative work on the body decreasing its kinetic energy. The decreasing energy is ...
8
votes
3answers
317 views

Leading-order cause of diurnal (not semidiurnal) variations in $g$?

The following graph shows the result of a very impressive differential measurement of the gravitational field in Boulder, Colorado, over a period of a couple of days. Floris got it from a ...
5
votes
3answers
178 views

Velocity in a turning reference frame

I often see the relation that $\vec v=\vec v_0+ \vec \omega \times \vec r$ in a turning reference frame, but where does it actually come from and how do I arrive at the acceleration being $$\vec a=\...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Is any work done if I walk in a circle?

My friend and I were arguing about this and I was wondering if someone out there could settle this for us. Basically, he and I were walking to buy some stamps. When we were on our return trip he ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Kinetics energy with different reference frame (a fighter plane shoots a bullet)?

Suppose a plane flies at 1km/s and shoots a 2kg projectile at 1km/s, so to the Earth the projectile flies at 2km/s with 2*2*2/2 = 4MJ. The same gun, when fixed on Earth, shoots the same 2kg ...
4
votes
2answers
607 views

Pendulum Wave Period

Recently I've seen various videos showing the pendulum wave effect. All of the videos which I have found have a pattern which repeats every $60\mathrm{s}$. I am trying to work out the relationship ...
4
votes
3answers
334 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 like:...
4
votes
2answers
759 views

How much thrust would be needed to turn a hobbyist weather balloon into a deep space probe?

I was reading the article Weather Balloon Space Probes that says you can put your own balloon probe at 65,000 ft temporarily. Is it even remotely possible to raise the probe high enough using ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Add air resistance to projectile motion

I am given an initial x and y position and initial velocity and I was asked to graph the trajectory in 1 second intervals. This is what I have so far: If $x_0 = 1, v_{0x} = 70, y_0 = 0, v_{0y} = 80, ...
2
votes
1answer
15k views

Torque Required For a Motor to Move an Object on Wheels?

I've been attempting to calculate how much torque a motor needs to produce in order to start a stationary object on wheels moving. (The torque is being applied to the rear 2 wheels, the front 2 are on ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

The Relationship Between Crater Diameter and the Velocity of an Object

I'm doing a design lab, where I have to "investigate the nature of craters formed on sand." I've done some research and figured out that the cube of the diameter ($d$) of the crater formed by an ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Earth-Centered Inertial (ECI) reference frame as approximate inertial frame of reference

In many practical applications, one can consider the Earth-Centered Inertial (ECI) reference frame approximately as an inertial reference system, though strictly speaking, it is non-inertial. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
507 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
700 views

Geometry in diagonal matrix and inertia tensor

For this problem, can anyone explain to me why when $x_1$ axis is aligned with the diagonal of the cube, the resulting inertia tensor will become diagonal? How to interpret this result geometrically? ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Newton's third law at the quantum level? [closed]

let's look at force at the atomic level to understand the newtons third law of motion. I'll use Helium atoms as an example. Now imagine we start with one atom HE2 stationary, and throw another atom ...
0
votes
3answers
218 views

Object Pushed by Multiple Forces [duplicate]

If we have a general object and we have multiple forces acting on it at several points. Assuming we know the center of mass, mass and moment of inertia of the object: Will the object rotate only ...
0
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...