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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Apparent violation of Newton's 3rd law and the conservation of angular momentum for a pair of charged particles interacting magnetically

Consider a system of the two identical point positive charges situated in the space (isolated from influence of any other external fields) as shown in the figure.Particle1 is at (a,a,0) and Particle2 ...
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329 views

Increase in velocity by loss of mass? [closed]

A trolley of mass 300kg carrying a sand bag of 25kg is moving uniformly with speed of 27km/h on a frictionless track. After a while, sand starts leaking out of a hole on the floor of the trolley at ...
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234 views

Do heavier objects fall faster? [duplicate]

This question has been asked multiple times here and all over the internet yet I can't find a conclusive answer: Some claim that heavier objects do fall faster: Don't heavier objects actually fall ...
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1answer
468 views

Force on impact in case of a free fall

In a free fall, on impact with the ground, the body experiences a massive force because of a huge acceleration since the velocity goes to 0 rather quickly. Since this force has to come as a result ...
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216 views

Motion of block on wedge

there is some confusion to me in the case of "motion of block on a frictionless wedge" Below is a simple diagram! Let us consider a situation as above in which there is a block of mass $m$ moving ...
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569 views

Semi-major axis and ellipticity of a binary system?

In the image below (source at bottom), it seems to be suggesting that \begin{equation} a = a_{1} + a_{2}, \hspace{8cm}(1) \end{equation} where $a_{1}$ and $a_{2}$ are the semi-major axis of the ...
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311 views

Displacement with zero velocity

I know that we can rotate a deformable object using internal forces only in space. Thus we can cause an angular displacement without the use of any external forces. The following youtube video shows ...
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2k views

Centripetal force of a rotating rigid body?

Consider someone pushing a roundabout in a playground. Initially the roundabout is stationary, but when it is pushed, it rotates with increasing rotational speed. The force of the push is ...
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336 views

Using acceleration to plot position

Sorry if this question is dumb, and I know is physics 101, but I'm not that good with physics. I'm writing an iPhone program that by collecting the acceleration data of the device tries to replicate ...
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612 views

How are Euler's laws of motion applied to gyroscopes?

Euler's laws of motion for a distributed mass are: $$F = \frac{d}{dt} MV_{cm},\ N = \frac{d}{dt} L$$ $F$ are the sum of the external forces, $M$ the total mass, $V_{cm}$ the velocity of the centre ...
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423 views

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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31 views

Could an object higher than the stationary orbit be returned to the outgoing point on this orbit?

In the question Centrifuge speed of an object higher than a stationary orbit, I asked: Does an object higher than the stationary orbit move slower or faster around the world than the top of a tower ...
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83 views

At what altitude above equator do gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other? [closed]

How high has to be a tower at equator to get on its peak the same - but of course inverted sing - value of gravitational and centrifugal forces?
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44 views

Plank stopping time

Problem: A plank of length $L$ and mass $m$ lies on a frictionless floor, if the plank has an initial velocity $v$, what is the stopping time of the block if it meets a floor with friction constant ...
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151 views

Derivation of Lagrangian?

I know that the Lagrangian $L$ is defined to be $T-V$, i.e. the difference between kinetic energy and potential energy. Also the Action $S$ is defined to be $\int Ldx$ and from this we can derive ...
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1answer
135 views

Purely mechanical description of how gravity causes a gyroscope to precess

I know the vector equation that relates torque to moment of inertia and angular momentum. What I want to know is what physical mechanisms actually occur to keep the gyroscope from falling. Where is ...
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209 views

Free body diagram of rod in sphere

I was finding the free body diagram part of dynamics quite easy until I found this question , Here's how it goes : A rod AB is placed inside a spherical shell, whose inside surface is rough. Draw ...
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1answer
551 views

Rigid bar suspended by two ropes, tension of first rope after second rope is cut?

This is from a practice exam, I've been sitting here thinking about it for over an hour and can't convince myself of an answer, or write down any relevant exact equations. A bar of uniform density ...
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1answer
372 views

Speed of a falling pencil [closed]

If you balance a pencil of length $d$ on its tip, and let it fall, how do you compute the final velocity of its other end just before it touches the ground? (Assume the pencil is a uniform one ...
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Newton Laws of Motion + Effective spring Constant [closed]

! Can someone please help me in solving this question: What is the effective spring constant for the system of the two springs, perfect pulley, and string shown on the left for it to be modeled ...
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Does it matter how you order your tug-of-war participants?

In a tug-of-war match today, my summer camp students were very concerned about putting the biggest people at the back of the rope. Is there any advantage to this strategy?
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129 views

How can a planet gravitationally capture objects?

I would expect that any asteroid or other object originating far away but passing near a planet would pick up speed and energy as it approaches, but unless it comes into contact with the atmosphere ...
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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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1k views

Kinetic energy of an object at rest

Why don't we consider that an object on Earth has kinetic energy as it is also moving at the rotating speed of Earth?
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184 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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771 views

What happens when the spacecraft velocity equals the velocity at it's exhaust?

So there I was resting me eyes thinking about rocket drives, and what-not. The thought struck me that, perhaps, even before Mr. Einstein interferes with the increasing velocity of the spacecraft Mr. ...
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578 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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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
627 views

Is it possible to fly like a bird using semi-motorized wings?

On his website http://www.humanbirdwings.net/ the dutch engineer Jarno Smeets claims to have successfully build a set of 17 m^2 bird-like wings from material of a kite. It is claimed that it ...
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1answer
362 views

Shaping a wire such that a bead sliding on it has exactly isochronous oscillations

Let a wire be shaped according to some even function $y=f(x)$, with $f'(0)=0$ and $f''(0)>0$, and let a bead of negligible size slide frictionlessly on the wire. Let the bead oscillate ...
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7answers
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Simple friction formula for a car

I am making a 2D driving video game, and I would like to know the "simple" formula for calculating the friction force between the car and the road. I have read lots of friction diagrams involving ...
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4answers
569 views

Why doesn't centrifugal force appear on an FBD for a car on a banked track?

Suppose you wish to find the max speed at which a car can travel on a banked curve of radius R and angle theta to the horizontal and coeff. of static friction mu. I don't understand the relevant ...
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1answer
121 views

How to simulate rotational instability?

I'm trying to simulate (for an educational game) the well-known effect that rotating objects with three nonequal moments of inertia are unstable when rotated around the middle axis. Some explanations ...
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1answer
246 views

Velocity distribution in Plummer's models and others mass distributions

The Plummer's sphere is an model for the mass density in a globular cluster of stars. For an $N$-body simulation I have initialized the position of $N$ masses with a Monte-Carlo technique but cannot ...
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150 views

Why isn't the product rule used in the definition of mechanical work?

Mechanical power is normally defined as $P = \mathrm{d}W/\mathrm{d}t$, and work is normally defined as $W = \vec F \cdot \vec x$. Today an undergrad pointed out a confusion he had from Griffiths' ...
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How Felix Baumgartner has reached the speed of sound quickly

I have watched Felix Baumgartner freefall; but I wonder how Felix has reached the speed of sound quickly, in a matter of some seconds, then we had no idea of its speed? Any explanation please.
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522 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 ...
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129 views

Escape velocity of satellites

I know that the equation for it is $$v^2 = \frac{2GM}{r},$$ and with that, the rocket should be launched at that speed. But could it go much slower spending much more fuel to escape from gravity ...
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3answers
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What is the intuition behind $gt^2/2$ equalling the distance something falls after $t$ seconds?

Let's say $g=10\ \text{m/s}^2$ and it drops for $3$ seconds. For the first second it will drop $10\ \text{m}$, the second it will drop $20\ \text{m}$ ($10 + 10$) and the third second it will drop $30\ ...
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119 views

Deceleration rate of objects of different mass but the same otherwise

Using a tennis ball as an example object, if one ball weighs 1 ounce and the other is 2 ounces, and both are struck at 100 mph on the same trajectory, would there be any difference in the deceleration ...
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103 views

Internal potential energy and relative distance of the particle

Today, I read a line in Goldstein Classical mechanics and got confused about one line. To satisfy the strong law of action and reaction, $V_{ij}$ can be a function only of the distance between ...
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5answers
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Can we escape Earth's gravity slowly?

I had a recent conversation with my girlfriend, who is a physics grad student. She was kind enough to listen to me rant about an idea concerning escape velocity. Unfortunately, I am still thinking ...
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2answers
274 views

Strong Newton's third law of action and reaction: Mathematical Interpretation

According to the strong law of action and reaction for internal forces(Goldstein): "$F_{ij}=-F_{ji}$ and the forces lie along the direction joining the particles." Now consider the statement If ...
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138 views

Non-uniqueness of solutions in Newtonian mechanics

In The Variational Principles of Mechanics by Lanczos, in section 1 of Chapter 1, Lanczos states that for a complicated situation, the Newtonian approach fails to give a unique answer to the problem, ...
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306 views

Would this box on the floor rotate based on friction?

There is a floor that friction is proportional to its velocity (like $F=-kv$) and there is a box with its width as $l$ and its height as $h$. (you may assume that $l$ is longer than $h$). It is on the ...
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2answers
4k views

Orbital speed for a circular orbit?

I wanted to look up the formula for orbital speed for a circular orbit on Wikipedia, and I found 2 formulas: All bounded orbits where the gravity of a central body dominates are elliptical in ...
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3answers
420 views

Is a spinning object heavier than a non-spinning object?

Does spinning an object make it heavier? A real-world example: I was mowing the lawn in front of my house, a lawn that tends to have some steep inclines. I realized that the lawn-mower was easier ...
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192 views

How does heating cause motion?

W.R.T. Newton's laws a force is required to change the state of rest of a body. Then how does heating cause a particular object's atoms and molecules to wiggle ? What is the force being applied when ...
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375 views

Are elliptical orbits really elliptical?

I have wondered for a long time how elliptical orbits can work. It seems awkward for a freely-moving object to come very close to a source of gravity and then return to the exact point where it ...
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4answers
367 views

Does the law of Universal Gravitation apply to every matter?

If I have a big ball of 20,000,000kg and another of 100g, does it mean that the big ball will pull the small ball towards it?