Analysis of a system of bodies where all forces are in balance and there is no motion relative to a chosen reference frame.

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

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 ...
14
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6answers
3k views

Why does the weighing balance restore when tilted and released

I'm talking about a Weighing Balance shown in the figure: Press & Hold on onside of the horizontal beam and then release it. It makes some oscillations and comes back to equilibrium like shown ...
9
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2answers
8k views

What is the force on the arms in a pushup?

What force do the arms have to generate to do a pushup? Let us look a this simplified model: The body can be represented by the green plank of mass B. Its angle to the ground is $\theta$. This ...
8
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3answers
509 views

Where does the extra equation come from to determine the forces from an object on a table?

I have a question about basic statics but somehow I cannot manage to find the answer on my own (btw, this is not a homework. It's been so many years since school for me...). The problem is very ...
8
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4answers
991 views

Two people are holding either end of a couch, is one person exerting more force than the other?

I was carrying a couch with my flatmate yesterday, and I started thinking about this. Often when carrying objects like this, one person will be taller and has thus lifted his end of the couch higher ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Hydrostatic friction: why do water droplets stay at rest on an inclined glass surface?

Tjis is a non-expert question on a (seemingly simple) text-book topic. The question is about "hydrostatic friction", defined as follows. Consider a drop of water resting on a flat surface. If the ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Force between two charged rods?

Suppose that we have two rods of length $l_1, l_2$ connected at one end but free to rotate. These rods have charge density $\lambda$ uniformly distributed, so the total charge of rod $i$ is $\lambda ...
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5answers
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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 ...
5
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2answers
2k views

What determines the (minimum) angle at which a domino falls over?

Dominoes, when placed upright, remain that way. Sometimes, even if you tip them a little bit, they will go back to their upright position. However, if you tip them too far, they will fall over. ...
5
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3answers
434 views

Moment of Inertia, why $r^2$and not $r$?

So my engineering mechanics book includes a brief discussion on area moments of inertia. Unfortunately, the ensuing chapter is predominately computational in nature. I don't have a thorough grasp of ...
5
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1answer
385 views

Is this static mechanical balance possible without trickery?

On damnlol.com, I came across this picture: http://www.damnlol.com/hello-god-i-have-a-fault-to-report-7549.html My question is: Is this possible without glue? If not are there similar situations ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Solving a statically indeterminate truss

I'm trying to solve the statically indeterminate truss shown below and I'm having a little trouble. $H$, $P$ and $\beta$ are given. The material is aluminum (density is 2700 ${kg/m^3}$) and has a ...
5
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1answer
5k views

If 1 screw can support 120 lbs, how much weight can 25 screws support?

While this is mainly about my personal home improvement project, I figure this would be a good opportunity for some of you to apply your physics skills to a real-world situation. My situation is ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Number of decays in a chain reaction

It is widely known that the probability of $n$ decays from one system to another $A \rightarrow B$ (e.g., electrons decaying from one atomic energy level to another or muons decaying into neutrinos ...
4
votes
1answer
726 views

Why don't couple forces violate Newton's First Law?

If you have some random object at rest and you apply a couple to it, the net force acting on it is zero. However because a moment acts on it, it starts to rotate. So you had an object at rest, a net ...
4
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3answers
884 views

Hanging chain in a planet's gravitational field

The curve for a chain hanging between two poles in a uniform gravitational field is known as the catenary. Is there known an expression for the curve of a hanging chain on a planet of mass $M$ which ...
4
votes
1answer
954 views

Understanding moments as forces?

I was watching this lecture on analysis of stress for mechanics of materials. At time 7:20, the lecturer says that in equilibrium, the sum of forces and "moments" in each direction (x,y,z) must be ...
4
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1answer
2k views

Hooke's Law question

I have the following question to answer: a force of160 N stretches a spring 0.050m from its equilibrium position. A. what is the spring constant of the spring? The equation for Hooke's Law in my ...
4
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2answers
557 views

Why are some jenga pieces easier to remove than others?

Jenga is a game place with wooden blocks stacked on top of one another in an alternating pattern. Players take turns removing blocks from any layer and placing them on top. As the game progresses ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Blocks stacked on an incline connected by rope around pulley

Two objects A and B, of masses 5 kg and 20 kg respectively, are connected by a massless string passing over a frictionless pulley at the top of an inclined plane, as shown in the figure. The ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Formula for implementing a simulated weighing scale

Background: I'm on the pledge drive committee for a non-profit group, and there is an issue that is always contentious within this group; thankfully the group is amicable, although competitive, about ...
4
votes
2answers
224 views

Can structural trusses in centrifuges be helpful at all?

Imagine a rotating space station for the purpose of creating artificial gravity. Generally, such a space station is portrayed as a ring or a cylinder. Images of these space stations often have lines ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Application of Archimedes Principle

A candle is floating in a liquid placed in a container. The container is a cylinder of diameter $D$, and the candle is of width $d$. ($D>d$) The height of the liquid from the bottom of the ...
3
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3answers
278 views

What is a “Center Of Mass” issue of a Gorillapod?

I read somewhere that a Gorillapod may have "Center Of Mass" issues when used with the long lenses. So, I wish to understand what is a "Center Of Mass" issue? I have to clarify that I am NOT a ...
3
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5answers
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How much force would be necessary to hold a 6-foot steel staff weighing 20 lbs from one end of it, parallel to the floor?

This isn't a homework problem. I'm asking cause I'm wondering how strong a person would have to be to pull it off. Their arms would be extended, both hands gripping the staff at one end, and the staff ...
3
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1answer
199 views

Forces acting on two balls in a jar [closed]

Consider the following situation: Two balls are inside a jar with diameter $D$. The balls are uniform in mass and both have the same diameter $d$. Express the forces that acts at the colored dots ...
3
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1answer
382 views

How is weight distributed when legs are astride?

Is there a simple and quick formula to find the weight (the force acting) on each leg, especially when legs are astride and they are not equally stretched? (or, better) not equally distant from the ...
3
votes
3answers
267 views

Does a cross really have a smaller area moment of inertia than a square of the same area?

I need to calculate the area moment of inertia of a cross for a homework assignment. The cross is a symmetric plus sign: _ | | |== ==| | | - ...
3
votes
2answers
360 views

Bowling ball on a rubber sheet

After reading a layman's guide to general relativity, I began to wonder what shape a bowling ball on a large rubber sheet would produce. For simplicity, I would like to assume that Hooke's law applies ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Calculating torque adjustment for offset of pivot point

I'm trying to figure out how much to adjust torque, on a torque wrench when using an extension that offsets the pivot point. See this calculator for a diagram of what I'm talking about: The trouble ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does the beam in a weighing balance get tilted proportional to the weights added to each pan?

I'm talking about a beam balance(a simple weighing balance with a beam and two pans hung on either side) As answered in a previous question, the beam comes back to the original position when one ...
3
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3answers
4k views

Deadlifting the rear end of a car with a lever. What it equates to in actual weight?

Consider this youtube video of a guy lifting a car. (skip to 2:15). I checked, and these cars (PT Cruiser) weigh $1417\:\rm{kg}$. What would the equation be to estimate how much weight he is actually ...
3
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1answer
833 views

Statics of Rigid Bodies — Can there be two possible solutions?

I've been working on a question and there seem to be two possible solutions. My own solution does not match the one given in the book. However, after resolving forces and taking moments with both ...
3
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3answers
9k views

Angles on swing sets

I'm building a swing set for my children. All of the designs I've seen involve building two A-frames and connecting them at the top with a crossbar/beam from which hang the swings. The A-frames are ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Simple Beam Worst Case Scenario

Part 1 If I have a simple beam with two supports and a static load, does placing the load in the center push the beam closest to breaking (catastrophic failure)? Will this be more likely to break ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Statics question: When do I need to find support reactions?

We're finding forces (and whether they're in tension or compression) using the Method of Joints and Method of Sections. I don't understand why sometimes it's necessary to find the support reactions, ...
3
votes
2answers
508 views

Static equilibrium question [closed]

I was doing some static equilibrium problems and I came across this problem which should be easy to solve, but is posing quite a challenge. I want to point out that this is not homework, just plain ...
3
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0answers
737 views

Shape of a string/chain/cable/rope/wire?

The height of a string in a gravitational field in 2-dimensions is bounded by $h(x_0)=h(x_l)=0$ (nails in the wall) and also $\int_0^l ds= l$. ($h(0)=h(l)=0$, if you take $h$ as a function of arc ...
3
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0answers
155 views

Obtaining point of application of Ground Reaction Force with use of a hyperstatic load-cell array platform

I'm looking for the theory of an experiment that is giving me a hard time to perform. I have an instrument composed of a rigid horizontal square plate rigidly supported under each corner by a ...
3
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0answers
2k views

Forces and torques about the CENTER OF MASS of a physical pendulum

I'm currently stumped by the following situation. Say we've got a rectangular physical pendulum (think ruler with a hole-punch at one end). It's trivial to analyze the motion of the pendulum with the ...
2
votes
2answers
466 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
1answer
477 views

Poisson effect formula for large deformations

English Wikipedia in the Poisson's ratio article gives an equation for large deformation: $$ \frac{\Delta d}{d}=-1+\frac{1}{\left(1+\dfrac{\Delta L}{L}\right)^\nu} $$ I couldn't find any reference ...
2
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2answers
856 views

Intuitive explanation of moments as they relate to center of mass

I would appreciate it if someone could give me an intuitive explanation of moments. I understand that that the center of mass could be thought of as the point which an object would balance on a ...
2
votes
1answer
494 views

Curvature of a cable supporting a suspension bridge in the regime where the mass of the cable is non-negligible

Assume I have a chain of uniform mass, $M_c$, suspended between two points such that it will follow the trajectory of a catenary curve when only supporting its own weight. Let's also say that this ...
2
votes
2answers
314 views

What is the shape of a clamped bent bar?

How would I figure out the Cartesian graph that describes a bar clamped flat for a length on one end with downward force being applied to the other? I have an idea that the bar will try to average ...
2
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2answers
95 views

Does the distance two weights are from you alter the difficulty of lifting them?

If I am weightlifting and I choose to do the deadlift, does it matter how far away from me the weights are on the bar, given that they are equally distance from me on both sides. E.g. I am deadlifting ...
2
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1answer
177 views

Finding the Shape of a Hanging Massive Wire

This came from a physics wave book. I have a static, massive wire on the x-axis, with a y-displacement due to a force per unit length $F_y$. I start with the equation $F_y = ...
2
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1answer
4k views

Relationship between balloon size and pressure

I see numerous websites talking about how a small balloon is at higher pressure than a big balloon. This is a fun counter-intuitive factoid... unless it isn't a fact at all. Young-Laplace gives $$T ...
2
votes
2answers
35 views

Formula for balance with three arms?

I'm searching for a way to express the angle of the arm of a balance instrument expressed in the weight that is present in one arm. For a two legged balance one could use the moment formula: moment = ...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

The principles of statics without force

I'm a student of civil engineering and now my course is covering the basics of statics, such as the equations of equilibrium, etc. Trying to get a better basis on the subject, I started to search on ...