# Questions tagged [statics]

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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### 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 ...
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### 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 in ...
27k views

### Why won't a tight cable ever be fully straight? [duplicate]

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 when ...
830 views

### A simple (?) problem of static equilibrium

A question on the site made me consider this simple problem, that unexpectedly seems to be indeterminate. Consider a perfectly rigid, homogeneous bridge of mass $m$ with three pillars, one placed ...
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### 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 ...
245 views

### Equilibrium of a tower of 2-d blocks

In the image below, All the blocks are frictionless & identical with side of unit length, height $h$, weight $w$ & center of gravity at their geometric centers. The 2 lowest blocks are on ...
249 views

### Stacking Shelves with Overhang

I want to stack some boxes which are 14" x 10" with some 12" records inside. This means that there will be a 2" overhang outside of each box. I know that to have an item to balance on a edge 50% of ...
25k views

### 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 ...
15k 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 ...
962 views

### How is normal force distributed along the surface of contact?

Help me settle this argument. A mass $m$ is placed on a thin diving board. The base of the diving board has mass $M>>m$. Does the board tip over? I drew the following FBD and concluded there ...
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### How does force transmit through a solid block?

If you take a solid block, say, a cube of side length $l$ with density $\rho$, you place it upon a solid floor, and you apply an external pressure of $p(x,y)$ on the upper face ($x$ and $y$ define a ...
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### Calculating the tipping point of a lamp post

So I'm designing an outdoor lamp post and trying to calculate whether it will withstand the heavy winds at the worst case scenario. Here are the parameters and what I've done so far: The lamp post is ...
389 views

### Determining the components of the force on a curved surface due to pressure

I have a cross section of a half-tube with a pressure gradient across it causing a force outwards. I am attempting to extract the vertical component (in relation to diagram) of the force on this semi-...
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### Forces exerted on legs of a 3-legged table

This is actually for a computer science homework problem, but I haven't studied any physics in five years so I'm having a bit of trouble. I'm given a table of three legs with their coordinates and I ...
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### What is the equation for the tension on the ends of a cable suspended at different heights?

I'm looking for an equation to find the tension on the ends of a cable suspended between two poles (one higher than the other) with no load but the cable itself. I determined that the tension would ...
4k views

### Calculating torque in 3D?

Say you have a sphere, and you have several torque vectors acting on it, all at different points. Say you have the vector (6i + 3j + 5k) originating from point A, and the vector (3i + 1j + 9k) ...
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### Massive ropes and tension

Consider the diagram bellow, a massive string hanging in equilibrium My question is this: Can we take any 2 random point on the rope, say A and B and then use $\sum F=0$ on the rope between them: i.e....
119 views

### Balancing Orthogonal Forces on 2D plane with arbitrary placement [closed]

I have a rectangular block in the xy plane with the center of mass that acts in the z direction at an arbitrary place in the plane. I also have 4 legs that support this weight underneath the block. ...
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### Calculate the weight a simple plank can support [closed]

I'd like to build a simple desk; just a single plank of wood (or a few side-by-side) with solid supports on each end of the desk. What I'm trying to figure out is how thick a plank I want to use for ...