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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How is distance between sun and earth calculated?

How has the distance between sun and earth been calculated by scientists? and size of sun? Thanks,
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How long would a lever have to be to move the planet Earth?

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. -Archimedes How long would that lever have to be? That is to say, how long a lever ...
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Trying to model pinball physics for game AI

I'm working on an AI for a pinball-related video game. The ultimate goal for the system is that the AI will be able to fire a flipper at the appropriate time to aim a pinball at a particular point on ...
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Top spun up with string under tension problem [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Homework about spinning top I have a top with an unknown mass. It has a moment of inertia of 4.00 * 10^-7 kgm^2 a string is wrapped around the top and pulls it so that ...
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Why $F=ma$ and not $F=m\dot{a}$?

What would happen if instead of $F=m*d^2x/dt^2$, we had $F=m*d^3x/dt^3$ or higher? Intuitively, I have always seen a justification for $\sim 1/r^2$ forces as the "forces being divided equally over ...
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Conserved quantities in generalized n-body problem

Given a collection of point-particles, interacting through an attractive force $\sim \frac{1}{r^2}$. Knowing only $m_1a=\sum_i \frac{Gm_1m_i}{r^2}$ and initial conditions we can deduce the motion of ...
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Is the giant Newton's cradle in the Kit-Kat ad feasible?

Apologies in advance if this is too basic a question for Phys.SE. I don't want to dumb down this venerable institution. :) My wife and I just watched this TV ad for Kit-Kat where a crew of crane ...
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Newton's Bucket

Newton's Bucket This thought experiment is originally due to Sir Isaac Newton. We have a sphere of water floating freely in an opaque box in intergalactic space, held together by surface tension and ...
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Why does a ballerina speed up when she pulls in her arms?

My friend thinks it's because she has less air resistance but I'm not sure.
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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 ...
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Can gravitational potential energy be released in a fire?

If one takes a bundle of wood up high to the mountains so its potential energy increases, would there be obtained more heat by burning it?
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Where's the best place to add weight to a Pinewood Derby car?

A little background: a Pinewood Derby car is a small wooden car that races down an inclined track, powered only by gravity. You are allowed to add weight to the car up to a certain limit. Here is a ...
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How did Newton discover his second law?

I've always assumed/been told that Newton's 2nd law is an empirical law — it must be discovered by experiment. If this is the case, what experiments did Newton do to discover this? Is it related to ...
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How to calculate cord tension in a vertical circle?

Mass m is connected to the end of a cord at length R above its rotational axis (the axis is parallel to the horizon, the position of the mass is perpendicular to the horizon). It is given an initial ...
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Can a human throw a football over the Matterhorn at Disneyland?

Some friends and I were at Disneyland this past week. We spent an hour arguing back and forth whether it is possible for someone to throw an NFL football over the Matterhorn? I think it is, but no ...
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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 ...
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What is the maximum efficiency of a trebuchet?

Using purely gravitational potential energy, what is the highest efficiency one can achieve with a trebuchet counter-weight type of machine? Efficiency defined here as transformation of potential ...
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How fast do you have to spin an egg to have it standing?

If you take a hardboiled egg and put it on a table and start to spin it, if you spin it fast enough it will start to spin in an upright position. What is the angular velocity needed for this ...
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Anti-gravity in an infinite lattice of point masses

Another interesting infinite lattice problem I found while watching a physics documentary. Imagine an infinite square lattice of point masses, subject to gravity. The masses involved are all $m$ and ...
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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 ...
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What is terminal velocity?

What is terminal velocity? I've heard the term especially when the Discovery Channel is covering something about sky diving. Also, it is commonly known that HALO (Hi-Altitude, Lo-Opening) infantry ...
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Irreversible expansion and time reversal symmetry

Suppose there are N non-interacting classical particles in a box, so their state can be described by the $\{\mathbf{x}_i(t), \mathbf{p}_i(t) \}$. If the particles are initially at the left of the box, ...
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What's the difference between running up a hill and running up an inclined treadmill?

Clearly there will be differences like air resistance; I'm not interested in that. It seems like you're working against gravity when you're actually running in a way that you're not if you're on a ...
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What is the definition of momentum when a mass distribution $\rho(r,t)$ is given?

This question is Edited after recieving comments. What is the definition of momentum when a mass distribution $\rho(r,t)$ is given? Assuming a particle as a point mass we know the definition of ...
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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 ...
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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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Why does the atmosphere rotate along with the earth?

I was reading somewhere about a really cheap way of travelling: using balloons to get ourselves away from the surface of the earth. The idea held that because the earth rotates, we should be ...
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What is the direction of the friction force on a rolling ball?

Suppose you have a solid ball on a horizontal table. What is the direction of friction force when the ball I pushed horizontally and starts rolling? Why is the direction of friction as it is? Which ...
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How to calculate a ballistic trajectory for a suborbital flight?

I'm trying to calculate the initial launch angles and velocity of a projectile (atmosphere's effects can be neglected), assuming that I know the lat/lon coordinates of both the launch and the ...
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5answers
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Can the coefficient of static friction be less than that of kinetic friction?

I was recently wondering what would happen if the force sliding two surfaces against each other were somehow weaker than kinetic friction but stronger than static friction. Since the sliding force is ...
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Why does kinetic energy increase quadratically, not linearly, with speed?

As Wikipedia says: [...] the kinetic energy of a non-rotating object of mass $m$ traveling at a speed $v$ is $mv^2/2$. Why does this not increase linearly with speed? Why does it take so much ...
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Why doesn't a bike/bicycle fall if going with a high speed?

Why does a bike/bicycle fall when its speed is very low or close to zero and is balanced when going with a high speed?
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Derivation of the centrifugal and coriolis force

I was wondering how easily these two pseudo-forces can be derived mathematically in order to exhibit a clear physical meaning. How would you proceed?
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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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Why don't spinning tops fall over?

One topic which was covered in university, but which I never understood, is how a spinning top "magically" resists the force of gravity. The conservation of energy explanations make sense, but I don't ...
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Is the distance between the sun and the earth increasing?

M = mass of the sun m = mass of the earth r = distance between the earth and the sun The sun is converting mass into energy by nuclear fusion. $F = \frac{GMm}{r^2} = \frac{mv^2}{r} \rightarrow r ...
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Is acceleration an absolute quantity?

I would like to know if acceleration is an absolute quantity, and if so why?
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Does leaning (banking) help cause turning on a bicycle?

I think it's clear enough that if you turn your bicycle's steering wheel left, while moving, and you don't lean left, the bike will fall over (to the right) as you turn. I figure this is because the ...