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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Why do objects sometimes fall on their own?

I have observed sometimes that when I keep some objects precariously balanced, for e.g. some objects in a cupboard, they seem quite stable at the time when I place them there but after a certain ...
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Is there any dynamical reason for the winter solstice to happen close to the perihelion?

When the winter solstice arrives, the angular momentum of the Earth, its orbital angular momentum and its radius vector with the orbital focus in the Sun are in the same plane. This happens quite ...
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Acceleration in $F=ma$

I tried to ask this question in Electrical Engineering Stackexchange but was told I was better asking here. Newton's Second Law of Motion states that the vector sum of the forces $\mathbf{F}$ on an ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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10answers
392 views

Why is centrifugal 'force' perpendicular to line of inertia

I know that centrifugal is labeled a fictitious force only arising in a rotating reference frame, but I still struggle to understand the forces at play intuitively in tethered rotating bodies. I've ...
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3answers
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Conservation of angular momentum for a rigid body rotating about a fixed point

Picture a rigid body such as a sledge hammer. Imagine that the base of the handle is attached to a fixed point such that it can rotate but not translate. I give the hammer a good push to get it ...
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2answers
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When falling through the air, does swinging arms/legs actually help anything?

Let's say someone jumps off an Olympic-sized diving board into a pool below (so air resistance is negligible). As soon as they jump, they start swinging their arms. Does this help them stay upright ...
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1answer
355 views

How does my kitchen scale know I'm holding it?

If I switch on my electronic kitchen scale while it's on the table, it reads 0 grams. If I pick it up, it reads around -500 grams. Conversely if I switch it on in my hand it tares to 0g and then reads ...
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1answer
786 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 ...
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1answer
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How does placing objects in liquids affect the mass?

I was dazing off in my physics class when I came up with this question and I was wondering about it all day. I could not provide myself with an adequate solution, so here I am asking the forum about ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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289 views

What's the difference between work in thermodynamics and mechanics?

What is the difference between work in thermodynamics and work in mechanics?
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1answer
137 views

Why does this screwdriver roll in a curved trajectory?

I am trying my level best to give this screwdriver a horizontal push only, but it is going in a circular path. I thought of uneven friction due to non-uniform normal reaction...what do you think? I ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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1answer
430 views

Meaning of the word “Moment”?

This question is more of a question about the origin of a physical term moment used in many contexts. My question is about the linguistic or historical meaning of the word "moment". Please don't ...
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1answer
163 views

Terminal velocity?

I am having a problem with a particular concept. Here is where I have gotten, since the ball never loses contact with the stair, it will rotate around through the edges, the edges being the pivot, ...
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1answer
118 views

Electron in the proximity of a magnetic monopole

I am puzzling about an exercise in the book "Electromagnetic Theory" by Ferraro (p.543). An electron (mass $m$, charge $-e$) in a monopole magnetic field ...
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3answers
119 views

Movement in outer space via Newton's law of every action has an equal and opposite reaction

What is more effective for travel in outer space ignoring all other factors like air radiation etc. I have a 10 kg bag of rice would I travel faster throwing the whole bag at once or throwing a grain ...
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2answers
180 views

How does one explain this pattern generated by earthquake waving driving a pendulum?

How to explain this pattern generated by earthquake wave driving a pendulum? Specially, there are three groups of curves that look categorically different: 1) The group of curves outside the ...
6
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1answer
256 views

What is the angle at which water is splashed when a vehicle tyre rides in water on the road?

I would like to know the following: What is the angle at which water gets splashed when I ride my vehicle through a water on the road? How does angle of water varies with speed? What is the relation ...
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1answer
167 views

Sailing against the wind. Is this a fair model?

I was ruminating the explanations about how boats can sail against the wind (or "into the wind"), and wondered if one could devise a simple mechanical model without hydrodynamics involved. Imagine a ...
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1answer
311 views

The quickest 6-3 play in baseball: to bounce or not to bounce?

What's the quickest way the get the ball (say from shortstop) into the first-baseman's glove, given some fixed initial (throwing) speed? Directly or with one bounce? I'm fairly sure that the answer ...
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2answers
288 views

Nonuniform acceleration due to rubber rope

What I want: I have a rubber rope which is $5m$ in length when not stressed and is able to stretch about $100\%$ (to $10m$ long). I want to accelerate a constant mass horizontally, which has ...
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2answers
323 views

What are the reasons for leaving the dissipative energy term out of the Hamiltonian when writing the Lyapunov function?

I have a problem with one of my study questions for an oral exam: The Hamiltonian of a nonlinear mechanical system, i.e. the sum of the kinetic and potential energies, is often used as a Lyapunov ...
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1answer
51 views

Movement of a cylinder filled with water

Not long ago I was pretty bored at a dinner and I started playing with a water bottle that was not empty: I've been quite interested in its behavior when putted on its side and pushed: the bottle of ...
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Derivation of Universal Variables

Does anyone know of link to the derivation of the Universal Variables? This is in regards to Kepler's equations. The Wikipedia link didn't have enough information for me, and the Colorado page ...
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507 views

Energy needed for Superman to take off and fly at the speed of sound

I just watched "Man of Steel", and I'm wondering if my logic is correct. Let's assume Superman is 80 kg. The energy required to take off from the rest to reach the speed of sound in air (if I neglect ...
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Recommendations for good Newtonian mechanics and kinematics books

What are some good books for learning the concepts of Kinematics, Newton laws, 2D Motion of Object etc.?
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Rope tension question

If two ends of a rope are pulled with forces of equal magnitude and opposite direction, the tension at the center of the rope must be zero. True or false? The answer is false. I chose true though and ...
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5answers
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Why do two bodies of different masses fall at the same rate (in the absence of air resistance)?

I'm far from being a physics expert and figured this would be a good place to ask a beginner question that has been confusing me for some time. According to Galileo, two bodies of different masses, ...
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5answers
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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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5answers
468 views

Forces other than the fundamental interactions, e.g. friction

Forgive me for the silly question, but I just don't get it. I just completed an elementary course in mechanics, and I am curious to know what I am about to ask. We have, all year, dealt with many ...
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521 views

Does the reaction force appear without delay?

According to Newton's law of action-reaction, there is a reaction force for the action force. He did not say when the reaction appears, whether immediately or with a delay. Could you tell me the ...
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438 views

Derivation of Kepler's laws

How can analytically be derived the Kepler's laws? I found some extremely synthetic equations which from the Newton's laws (in particular $\mathbf{F} = m \mathbf{a}$) tried to obtain the Kepler's ...
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4answers
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Why do we weigh less when falling?

I don't want to go to science world to find out because it would be a long round-trip. I understand that acceleration/deceleration would effect the weight and I can also imagine that someone at ...
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4answers
988 views

Explaining Newton's Laws of motion to a 6 year old

An old professor of mine once said that an effective means to get people interested in Physics is to get them started early. What would be an effective and meaningful (and fun) means to explain ...
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5answers
457 views

Why are orbits elliptical? [duplicate]

Just wanted to know why planetary orbits get to be elliptical? I'm not debating how stable these orbits are (obviously almost completely stable), but why don't planets revolve in the special ellipse ...
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How does gravity affect bullets?

I read recently that if you hold a bullet in one hand and a pistol in the other, both hands at the same height, and subsequently fired the pistol at the same time as dropping the bullet, both bullets ...
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How about an exact solution for the position of a planet as a function of time?

Recently I was surprised to discover that no exact solution for the position of a planet as a function of time exists. I am referring to the two-body problem in a gravitational field where Newtons law ...
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2answers
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Perfectly centered break of a perfectly aligned pool ball rack

Imagine the beginning of a game of pool, you have 16 balls, 15 of them in a triangle <| and 1 of them being the cue ball off to the left of that triangle. Imagine that the rack (the 15 balls in a ...
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How do the Planets and Sun get their initial rotation?

How do the Planets and Sun get their initial rotation? Why do Venus and Mercury rotate so slowly compared to other planets and why does Venus rotate in a different direction to Mercury, Earth and ...
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2answers
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The acceleration vector of a simple pendulum

In this picture the acceleration vector $\vec{a}$ points upward when the pendulum is halfway Click To see animated GIF But according to this picture, the force acts tangentially: Which means the ...
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3answers
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Direction of rotation of a celing fan

From Constellation Energy Quick energy efficiency tip: To stay cool and manage your energy at the same time, use ceiling fans to create a “wind chill” in rooms you are using. The wind chill ...
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2answers
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Are orbits interior to Jupiter's orbit less stable than orbits exterior to Jupiter's orbit?

Or in other words, are there differences in average Lyapunov timescale between orbits interior to Jupiter and orbits exterior to Jupiter? I'm trying to answer a question at ...
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4answers
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Logical connection of Newton's Third Law to the first two

The first law and second laws of motion are obviously connected. But it seems to me that the third law is not related to the first two, at least logically. (In Kleppner's Mechanics the author states ...
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Does unitarity imply conservation of energy?

Not too long ago, someone began to discuss the thinking and motivation behind the Lagrangian and its formalism for the Newtonian framework and an intuitive understanding of such formalism. Somehow, it ...
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2answers
364 views

How can you solve this “paradox”? Central potential

A mass of point performs an effectively 1-dimensional motion in the radial coordinate. If we use the conservation of angular momentum, the centrifugal potential should be added to the original one. ...
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2answers
365 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 ...
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A Basic Question about Gravity, Inertia or Momentum or something along those lines

Why is it that if I'm sitting on a seat on a bus or train and its moving quite fast, I am able to throw something in the air and easily catch it? Why is it that I haven't moved 'past' the thing during ...
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3answers
406 views

Energy not conserved with accleration by a constant force

Suppose I have an object with mass $m$ in vacuum that I propel by applying a constant force, $F$, on it, with a rocket engine that I supply a constant amount of energy, $\frac{\delta ...