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)

4
votes
3answers
328 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
753 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
3answers
2k views

When is tension constant in a rope?

Suppose we have a massless rope with pulling forces applied at each end. In which scenarios is the tension in the rope constant throughout? For example if there is a knot in the rope the tension is ...
2
votes
1answer
299 views

Determine orbital position after change in velocity

I am working on a satellite simulator for a project/game and I am stuck on this one bit of physics. So far I have a satellite that revolves around earth on a 2D plane following Keplerian motion using ...
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
683 views

Why is moment dependent on the distance from the point of rotation to the force?

The formula for moment is: $$M = Fd$$ Where F is the force applied on the object and d is the perpendicular distance from the point of rotation to the line of action of the force. Why? Intuitively, ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Man in elevator, holding it, on a scale [closed]

This is the scenario where my mass is $60 kg$, the mass of the elevator is $30kg$, and due to a malfunction, I have to hold myself and the elevator at rest. The question is, if there is a weighing ...
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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

Is angular momentum always conserved in the absence of an external torque?

Consider either the angular momentum of the earth around the sun or equivalently swinging a ball horizontally on a string. I know that with respect to the point of rotation of the swinging ball, ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
89 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
662 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
3answers
496 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
2answers
1k views

Intuitive understanding of centripetal vs. centrifugal force

I am having trouble understanding how centripetal force works intuitively. This is my claim. When I have a mass strapped on a string and spin it around, I feel the mass pulling my hand. So, I want ...
0
votes
1answer
254 views

Time to fall in a non-uniform gravitational field

In an uniform gravitational field the loss in potential energy (the work done) by gravity is given by $\text{-}mg\Delta h$ and the time to do so (assuming no friction and no initial velocity) is given ...
0
votes
3answers
197 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

Direction of friction when a car turns

When a ball moves to the right, friction acts to oppose the motion, in other words, to the left. However, when a car travels around a bend, the friction acts in the perpendicular direction to the ...
0
votes
2answers
182 views

Constant of gravity in earth fixed coordinate system

I have this problem: If the constant of gravity is measured to be $g_0$ in an earth fixed coordinate system, what is the difference $g-g_0$ where $g$ is the real constant of gravity as ...
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 ...
150
votes
11answers
23k views

Why are four-legged chairs so common?

Four-legged chairs are by far the most common form of chair. However, only three legs are necessary to maintain stability whilst sitting on the chair. If the chair were to tilt, then with both a ...
51
votes
8answers
25k 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 ...
64
votes
3answers
3k views

Why do travelling waves continue after amplitude sum = 0?

My professor asked an interesting question at the end of the last class, but I can't figure out the answer. The question is this (recalled from memory): There are two travelling wave pulses moving in ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there an intuitive reason the brachistochrone and the tautochrone are the same curve?

The brachistochrone problem asks what shape a hill should be so a ball slides down in the least time. The tautochrone problem asks what shape yields an oscillation frequency that is independent of ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

Intuition as to why the orientation (of a 3D object) is not a conserved quantity?

Say you start off floating in space, in a fixed position and orientation, with zero linear and angular velocity, with no external forces. So you are a closed mechanical system. By twisting your body ...
25
votes
9answers
6k views

Physical meaning of the angular momentum

Still reading Classical Mechanics by Goldstein, I'm struggling on a very basic notion: angular momentum. I physically understand it as the momentum of an object rotating around something given a ...
15
votes
3answers
6k 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
5answers
43k views

Block on a block problem, with friction

Consider two blocks, one on top of the other on a frictionless table, with masses $m_1$ and $m_2$ respectively. There is appreciable friction between the blocks, with coefficients $\mu_s$ and $\mu_k$ ...
38
votes
6answers
55k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
15k views

Newton's cradle

Why, when one releases 2 balls in Newton's cradle, two balls on the opposite side bounce out at approximately the same speed as the 1st pair, rather than one ball at higher speed, or 3 balls at lower ...
15
votes
10answers
29k 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
10k 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
1answer
2k views

Proving Kepler's 1st Law without differential equations

Is there a way to show that motion of Earth around the Sun is elliptical (Kepler's 1st law) from Newton's laws without resorting to the use of differential equations of motion?
-8
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 ...
26
votes
4answers
2k views

The physical definition of work seems paradoxical

So this is possibly a misunderstanding of the meaning of work, but all the Physics texts, sites, and wiki that I've read don't clear this up for me: In the simplest case with the simplest statement, ...
19
votes
3answers
6k views

Why doesn't the speed of Earth (moving through space) kill us?

I have read different speeds of Earth in different sources. $382\;{\rm km}/{\rm s}$, $12\;{\rm m}/{\rm s}$ and even $108,000\;{\rm km}/{\rm h}$. Basically, it's moving too fast around the Sun. And the ...
18
votes
12answers
5k views

How can the contact point of rolling body have zero velocity?

They say that for a rolling body, the velocity of the contact point is zero. I'm not getting this. How can it be zero when it's in continuous motion?
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Why are Saturn's rings so thin?

Take a look at this picture (from APOD http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110308.html): I presume that rocks within rings smash each other. Below the picture there is a note which says that Saturn's rings ...
10
votes
3answers
7k views

Can superconducting magnets fly (or repel the earth's core)?

If a superconducting magnet and appropriate power supply had just enough $I\cdot s$ (current $\cdot$ length) so that when it was perpendicular to the earth's magnetic field, the force of the ...
6
votes
5answers
19k 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: ...
6
votes
5answers
12k views

Why can't a rope be pulled completely straight?

I have found several discussions on how to calculate the sag of rope that is tied off at two points (like a tightrope), and I understand it to a certain extent. What I can't wrap my head around is how ...
20
votes
6answers
3k views

Conservation of momentum when rain pours into a wagon

Suppose a wagon is moving at constant velocity on a friction-less surface, and rain begins to fill the wagon. The net force on the wagon is zero, so momentum is conserved; as the mass of the wagon ...
19
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
35k views

Which is easier, pushing or pulling?

It is generally assumed, from a person's perspective, that pushing a cart is more easier than pulling one. But why? Is there any difference in terms of force required to achieve the same amount of ...
8
votes
8answers
6k 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. ...
7
votes
2answers
883 views

Confusion with derivation of fictitious forces

I read the mathematical derivation of fictitious forces on Wikipedia and I'm having trouble understanding it. I went on a few other sites looking for a better derivation, but they're all basically the ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Analyzing the motion of a ball rolling without slipping inside a hemispherical bowl

Consider a solid ball of radius $r$ and mass $m$ rolling without slipping in a hemispherical bowl of radius $R$ (simple back and forth motion). Now, I assume the oscillations are small and so the ...
22
votes
3answers
676 views

How many points are required to make a black box

I have a black box with an arbitrary mass distribution inside it. I want to replace that object with n point masses without changing any mechanical properties of the box (center of mass, total mass, ...
10
votes
2answers
23k views

How is distance between sun and earth calculated?

How has the distance between sun and earth been calculated? Also what is the size of the sun?