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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2answers
2k views

Shape of a string/chain/cable/rope/wire? [closed]

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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6answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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3answers
930 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 ...
4
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1answer
10k 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 =...
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1answer
3k views

Estimate the reaction force on each leg of a 4-legged table

Assume you have a table with four legs with a weight placed somewhere inside the boundary created by the legs. The task is to determine the reaction force at each leg. Here are the problem ...
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3answers
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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, ...
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5answers
767 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 ...
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2answers
265 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 ...
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1answer
254 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 ...
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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 ...
9
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4answers
17k 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 ...
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3answers
992 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 ...
3
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1answer
231 views

Reaction forces in pyramid stacking of steel coils

I was tasked with solving this problem at work as we are out of coil holders and we bought 140 coils and need to stack them asap. Companies that make the storage holders are on back order for several ...
2
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1answer
15k views

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 ...
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2answers
1k views

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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2answers
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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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3answers
12k views

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 ...
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1answer
437 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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1answer
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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1answer
1k views

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....
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2answers
123 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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1answer
659 views

Problem regarding Buoyancy forces and Archimedes principle

A thin-walled container of mass $m$ floats vertically at the separation surface of the two liquids of density $ρ_1$ and $ρ_2$ . The whole mass of the container is concentrated in the part of height $...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
940 views

Find center of mass and moment applied on beam structure [closed]

I have a simple physics problem to solve but it is giving me a slightly difficult time to figure out. The problem: I have a beam structure with same cross section. It consists of three beam. First ...
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4answers
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Why is the shape of a hanging chain not a “V”?

From Wikipedia: To answer this question: "What is the shape of a chain suspended at both ends?" we can use the variational principle that the shape must minimize the gravitational potential energy. ...
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7answers
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Hanging a hammer from a table and a stick so that its midpoint is outside of the support of the table

I came across this pic on the internet today. At beginning I thought it is just not possible because the centre of mass is way off so gravity will generate torque making the stick and hammer fall. ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
23k views

Calculation of the maximum load to the bar

Looking for a way of calculating the maximum weight (W) to the rod with the given length (L) where the rod did not break and that only bend for (b) mm. Need only approximative solution (read: simple ...
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6answers
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What is the role of pillars in bridges?

As I can see in the picture, there are so many pillars which are holding the bridge. This picture gave a question to me that what are these pillars doing below the bridge?? An appripriate answer ...
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1answer
579 views

Distribution of normal force on a book resting on the edge of a table

Assume a uniform book is resting on a table. The book has length $1$. But not the entire book is resting on the table, a bit $\alpha$ is sticking out of the table. Obviously, due to experience, we ...
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2answers
452 views

Hanging a brick free over an edge by stacking them

National Geographics TV has a series called "None of the above". In one episode the presenter shows that by stacking 4 bricks (here shown as 'xxxxxxxx') you can have one of the bricks completely hang ...
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2answers
851 views

Solving a problem using Newtonian mechanics and D'Alembert principle

yI have to solve that problem with two methods (applying Newtonian mechanics and the D'Alembert principle. The problem consists in two balls inside a spherical cylinder, it consists in determine the ...
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2answers
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Connection between moment/torque and centre of gravity?

So I understand how moments work with regards to basic examples like pushing a door, in that the further you are away from the hinges of the door, the greater the moment, which is like a turning force....
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1answer
3k views

Trying to understand the tension in a spring with two weights attached [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why I think tension should be twice the force in a tug of war For (A) in this image, I would think the tension should be should be 2mg. However, my book says the weight in (A)...
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1answer
465 views

Why is it effectively impossible to balance this rectangle block on a triangle block? (See photo)

I've always wondered why it's basically impossible to balance a rectangle block on top of a triangle one like this. This is my nine-year-old giving it a try. I have never in my life gotten it to ...
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2answers
7k 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. ...
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2answers
1k views

Mass required to prevent sign falling over with a set wind load - activity stations for disabled children

I'm currently working on my thesis and I'm stuck on a question. I'm designing activity stations for disabled children to be used for equine therapy. The stand is 9ft tall and I've calculated the the ...
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2answers
802 views

Static equilibrium question: Horizontal rod attached to a wall

I'm doing a problem on static equilibrium and I'm unclear whether a force exists or not. This is my force diagram: The setup is: a homogenous rod with a certain mass is attached to a vertical wall on ...
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2answers
268 views

Amount of material required for a pressure tank

I read the answer for the question Why is a hot air balloon “stiff”? and thought something sounded ridiculous. My engineering requirement is that the walls be strong enough. Here $T$ will be the ...
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2answers
272 views

Proof of the Law of the Lever

Is there an accepted proof of the Law of the Lever? I know of several attempted proofs, such as Archimedes's, but these either are incomplete or do not transfer to the setting of Newton's Laws. (It ...
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1answer
3k views

Mechanics question - ladder leaning against a wall

I am struggling with part a) of this question: Here is the solution: In part a) they prove that $F \leq \mu R$ is false for this system. So as $F$ is neither less than nor equal to $\mu R$ it can ...
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3answers
319 views

How is weight distributed in a stack of boxes? [duplicate]

Consider the following stacks of 2D boxes with uniform density: ...
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2answers
443 views

Floating objects and fluid statics

If an object is floating, I know about how buoyancy force (density of liquid* volume displaced* g) must equal gravitational force (density of object* volume of object* g). Can someone explain if it is ...
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2answers
203 views

Confusion about force analysis in 3D space

A book I'm using states that it is possible for a system of forces to produce a net translational force with no turning moment if the line of action of the net force does not pass through the origin ...
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2answers
513 views

Rigid body equilibrium word problem

In my 100-level university physics course, we are just starting to touch on rigid bodies and tension. While I am fairly certain that I approached this the right way, I would appreciate if someone ...
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1answer
3k views

Can I use Newton's second law to solve what seems to be a torque problem?

The Problem: An 8-m-long beam, weighing 14,700 N, is hinged to a wall and supported by a light rope that is attached 2.0 m from the free end of the beam. If the beam is supported at an angle of ...
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2answers
1k views

Moment of a force about a given axis (Torque) - Scalar or vectorial?

I am studying Statics and saw that: The moment of a force about a given axis (or Torque) is defined by the equation: $M_X = (\vec r \times \vec F) \cdot \vec x \ \ \ $ (or $\ \tau_x = (\vec r \times ...