Take a cupboard or just a large wooden box. When pushed it a point above its center of mass, the cupboard topples because there is a net torque due to the friction and the force you apply. When pushed at a point below the center of mass, the cupboard does not as the torque due to the friction and the torque due to the force you apply are in opposite directions (they cancel). Now my question is if the force you apply is equal to the maximum value of static friction, then the box is at rest. However, since the friction applied is at a larger distance from the center of mass than your force, shouldn't there be a net torque?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are forgetting the torque due to gravity here, which is a key part of objects tipping over or not. $\endgroup$
    – Triatticus
    May 6, 2023 at 7:14
  • $\begingroup$ I assumed the center of mass as the point of origin. Hence, cannot we just neglect it? $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    May 6, 2023 at 7:16
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The ground pushes up with normal reaction force and the point of its application will shift inside the base of the box just nicely to cancel any torque. $\endgroup$ May 6, 2023 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Related - Toppling of a cylinder on a block $\endgroup$
    – mmesser314
    May 6, 2023 at 16:27


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.