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Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Newtons Laws

1-1 Governing Equations for Dynamics and Statics

Prior to Sir Isaac Newtons formulation of his three famous laws in 1687, scientists were not
completely successful in explaining the motion or lack of motion of bodies. Newtons laws
allow us to be successful in both areas as long as the velocities are much less than the speed of
light and the bodies are much larger than individual atoms. In such extreme cases, Einsteins
relativistic mechanics, published in 1905, and other complex theories of physics would have to
be used. Therefore, in the vast majority of cases, Newtons laws serve perfectly well as the
foundation for applications of mechanics to practical situations. Newtons second law states that
the sum of all forces acting on a body equals the product of its mass times its acceleration.

G
F =m a (1.1)

This governing equation will be the starting point for our study of Dynamics. Later we will see
that the acceleration in this equation must be the acceleration of the center of gravity (CG) of the
body, thus the subscript G on the acceleration. This equation will be integrated in two special
ways to yield the governing equations of two additional methods, i.e. the work-energy method
(Chapter 9) and the impulse-momentum method (Chapter 10). When the body is restrained so
that it cannot move, or at least has a zero acceleration (i.e., constant velocity), Newtons first law
is the result. This simplified version of the second law says simply that if the sum of all forces
acting on a body equals zero, the body is either (a) in static equilibrium, i.e. has no motion
at all, or (b) moves with constant velocity. In either case, equation (1.1) reduces to

F =0 (1.2)

which is Newtons first law. It is simply a special case of the second law and it forms the
starting point for our study of Statics. These two simple but important laws clearly show the
close relationship of Dynamics and Statics. These equations refer to lack of motion or motion
Statics

vs.
Dynamics
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Space_Shuttle_Transit.jpg
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KSC-95EC-0911.jpg
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Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.
along a straight or curved line, motion referred to as translation, which we will define more
precisely later. We will show how to modify these equations to describe rotational motion or
lack of such rotation as follows:

G G
M =I (1.3)
and

G
M =0 (1.4)

The terms in these equations will be defined later as required, but for now, equations (1.3 1.4)
can be interpreted as Newtons Second and First Laws for rotational motion or lack of such
motion, respectively. The term I
G
represents the mass property that is a function of the size and
shape of the body. We will learn how to compute this property in Chapter 4. Motion involving
both translation and rotation is referred to as general motion and will require satisfaction of the
dynamic form of both the translational and rotational equations (1.1 and 1.3). Static
equilibrium implies the lack of all acceleration and therefore requires that the zero forms of
both equations (1.2 and 1.4) are satisfied. You will see that pure translation requires satisfaction
of the dynamic form of the translational equation (1.1) along with the zero form (static form) of
the rotational equation (1.4). Conversely, you will see that pure rotational motion about the
center of gravity of a rigid body requires satisfaction of equations (1.2 and 1.3).

Newton also developed a third law that is equally important in Dynamics and in Statics. This
states that when two separate bodies contact each other or attract each other, the
interacting forces are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction. You can easily feel the
static version of this by pushing two fingers together. The figure shows the pushing forces at the
point of contact. Each portion of each finger must react these forces to prevent motion. At the
top each finger feels only pushing all along its length. At the bottom, each finger feels pushing
and bending along its length. These cut-away-drawings of the fingers inside the circles are free-
body-diagrams (FBDs) which are the most important single tool that will be used in this course.

You may be surprised to learn that the foundation for this integrated course has now been stated
in terms of equations (1.1 1.4) comprising the static form (zero form) and the dynamic form
(nonzero form) of Newtons Second Law for translation and rotation. We still need to define the
Newtons 2
nd
& 3
rd
Laws: Equal & opposite contact forces, reactions to contact forces
F
F
F F
F
F
F F
M
M
photos: Biggers
15

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.
terms in the rotational equations. We also must define the physical point on the body known as
the center of gravity or center of mass. Along with Newtons Third Law and the tool we call
FBDs, we are well on our way to being able to deal with rigid body mechanics.

In Dynamics the governing kinetics equations (1.1 and 1.3) introduced above will be
supplemented with additional equations of kinematics which describe the relationships
between translational and rotational motions and how they relate to time and position. In
Dynamics we will sometimes use integrated forms of Newtons Second Law to formulate
problems in terms of Work-Energy and/or Impulse-Momentum principles. However, with
only a very few exceptions, Newtons Second Laws for translation and rotation can be used,
along with kinematics, for any dynamic situation. In some cases, however, the other methods
may lead to simpler formulations and quicker solutions. The zero form of Newtons Second
Laws may always be used for static analysis.

1-2 Force of Gravity

Newton formulated his universal law of gravitation when he discovered that any two masses
have equal and opposite attractive forces on each other. This is actually a quantitative version of
his third law. Our weight is simply the attractive force that the mass of the earth has on our body
mass. As discussed in the introduction, weight is a force and it will be measured in N or lb.

Newtons law of gravitation states that the attractive force F
between two stationary masses m
1
and m
2
whose centers are a
distance r apart as shown at right is given by

(1.5)

where the gravitational constant G is given by

G = 6.673 x 10
-11
m
3
/(kg-sec
2
) in SI, and G = 3.439 x 10
-8
ft
4
/(lb-sec
4
) in USC.

If the attractive forces are not reacted by other forces, the masses will move toward each other
according to eq. (1.1). Which mass would move faster? If are in contact with each other,
Newtons 3
rd
Law would provide for a reaction force to prevent movement.

Since the earth is not spherical (radius larger at equator than poles), the distance r varies with
latitude, as well as elevation. Since the earth rotates, there is a slight tendency for bodies to be
thrown off the surface due to this rotation. This effect also varies from maximum at the equator
to minimum at the poles. Therefore, the total effective interactive force between any body and
the earth is a function of position (latitude and elevation). So the measured weight of any body
is maximized at the poles and minimized at the equator.

Since weight is also defined as mass times the so called acceleration of gravity, g, the
magnitude of g also varies in the same way as weight. The chart in Figure 1.1 summarizes the
acceleration of gravity at sea level at different locations on the earth according to the latest
F =(G) (m
1
m
2
)/( r
2
)

m
1

F
m
2
r

F
16

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.
International Gravitational Formula that
accounts for rotation and the shape of the
earth. If the earth did not rotate, the
values would be higher than these except
at the poles. Of course rotation is not a
factor at the poles. In this course, we
will always assume an average value of
g = 9.81 m/s
2
in the SI system or 32.2
ft/s
2
in the USC system, unless a
different value can be justified by
values of g the poles (latitude=90
0
) in
Figure 1.1 and the mass of the earth =
5.976 x 10
24
at the poles as predicted by Newton. The
latest accepted value is 6,356,750 m.

1-3 Free Body Diagrams and Kinetic Diagrams

The most important step in formulating and solving dynamics and statics problems is to draw
simple sketches that represent each of the two sides of the equation stating Newtons second
law. On the left hand side, we need to represent all forces acting on the body so they can be
summed. The sketch that shows the body and all known and unknown forces acting on it is
called the free body diagram (FBD). The earlier pictures of
fingers showed FBDs. The magnitude and direction of known
forces are shown. Unknown forces are shown with an assumed
direction and an identifying name. The term free simply
means the body has been cut free from all supports or
connections to other bodies and those unknown reaction or
connection forces are shown with names and directions as they
are known to act or are assumed to act on the body. If a
support prevents translation or rotation in a particular direction,
there is a reaction force or moment, respectively, opposite to
that direction. The kinetic diagram (KD) is drawn to
represent the right hand side of Newtons second law when
modeling a dynamic condition. It shows the magnitude and
directions of known accelerations or the assumed directions
and identifying names of unknown accelerations. In static
equilibrium, the kinetic diagram is simply a zero and can be
omitted.

FBD As an example for constructing FBDs, consider the
crane used to lift the large boat in and out of the water as
shown in Figure 1.2. The main cable wraps around a single
pulley. If you want to find the force in the main cable, you
T
1 T
2
FBD of boat,
frame, pulley
www.boatsales.uk.net
12000 lb
0 0.26 0.52 0.79 1.05 1.31 1.57
9.77
9.78
9.79
9.8
9.82
9.83
9.84
9.84
9.77
g( )
2
0
0 15 30 45 60 75 90
(equator) Latitude, degrees (poles)
m/sec
2
Figure 1.1 Effective Acceleration
(or Intensity) of Gravity.
17

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.
need to cut through the cable on each side of the pulley to expose the internal forces in the
cables. The FBD of the boat, pulley, and spreader frame after cutting them free from the crane is
shown. Note that if we only cut the main cable on one side of the pulley, we would not have
completely freed the body from the crane. The boat weighs 12,000 lb and its distributed
weight is replaced by its total weight concentrated at the center of gravity of the boat. Of course,
now you know that the weight is simply the attractive force the mass of the earth has on the mass
of the boat.

Let us simplify the model of the system by neglecting the comparatively small mass of the
spreader frame, cables, pulley, etc. If the system is static or if the pulley mass is neglected, the
tension at each cut in the main cable is the same, i.e. T
1
= T
2
acting upward. The observation
that the two tension forces are the same seems to be a trivial observation. However, this
observation will not become completely clear until we consider the dynamics of a rotating
pulley. In the dynamic case, the tensions will not be the same if the rotating pulley has
significant mass and is accelerating. There will be much more on this later.

We can also cut a free body of the pulley itself as shown below. Now the four tension forces T
2

in the cables attached to the spreader frame appear in the new FBD. These forces all have the
same magnitude due to symmetry, but to get their direction and expression as vectors, the
geometry of the spreader frame is needed. We will return to this problem in Chapter 5 after
discussing ways to define vectors in 3-D space in the Chapter 2.

Next, we can cut a free body of only the spreader frame as shown.
Now the four equal (due to symmetry) tension forces T
3
in the
nearly vertical straps surrounding the boat appear in the new FBD.
Finally, the FBD of the boat alone is shown in Figure 1.2 as
supported by the T
3
forces in the straps.

Note that in all cases, tension forces pull on the body on which
they act. Internal forces on either side of a cut are always equal in
magnitude and opposite in direction (Newtons Third Law). It is
very important to note that the internal forces are not shown on a
FBD unless there has been a cut made in the support (cable in this
instance) on that particular FBD. Then the internal force is shown
as it acts on the cut surface. There are many other FBDs that
could be cut and drawn from the original photo and later we will
do some of these. It is a good practice to actually indicate on the
original body exactly where the FBD is being cut free. This has
been done with the dashed colored lines on the photo in Figure
1.2. The FBD is only what is inside the dashed line and internal
forces are shown only where the dashed line cuts through a
supporting element. As your first Learning Exercise you will
practice drawing FBDs for a number of situations. You will be
expected to do this correctly as the first step in formulating the
governing equations using Newtons Second Law for dynamics or
statics.
T
1 T
1
T
2
T
2
T
2
T
2
FBD of pulley
T
2
T
2 T
2
T
2
T
3
T
3
T
3
T
3
frame
www.boatsales.uk.net
18

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.

After identifying the portion of the structure or machine that is to be modeled, it is a good
practice to actually encircle that region with a line to indicate where cuts must be made to free
the body. This is done in the example to follow. A complete FBD shows:
A simple sketch of the body that has been cut free and all forces acting on that particular
body including:
o The weight, located at the CG, with magnitude and direction shown
o The magnitude and direction of any other known forces tending to cause, restrict,
or prevent motion
o Any unknown forces in members that were cut to free the body but tending to
cause, restrict, or prevent motion an assumed direction and a unique name
should be shown. They should always be shown at the actual location where they
are applied, not at some abstract point as you may did in your physics class.
A coordinate system identifying directions used in vector expressions
Important geometric information needed to solve the problem. If this information is too
extensive, sometimes it is best to show it on a separate diagram.

KD The kinetic diagram is much simpler than the FBD. It represents the term
G
m a on the
right hand side of Newtons Second Law for forces and translation, and the term
G
I for
moments and rotation (to be examined later). Sometimes the KD is so simple students bypass
drawing it because it seems to be trivial. However, this tendency must be avoided in formulating
the governing equations for dynamics. Drawing the KD forces you to make a conscious decision
about which mass or masses you are considering, and which masses are actually accelerating.
You are also forced to make a first estimate or assumption of the direction(s) of the
acceleration(s) and to show the point (i.e. the CG) where the acceleration is measured. It aids in
making observations about relationships of motions of different points on the body and in
recording any assumptions about these accelerations.

A complete KD shows:
A simple sketch of the body under consideration, its mass, and the accelerations that
particular body may be experiencing including:
o The linear acceleration vector at the CG with the given, assumed, or observed
direction(s) shown and the vector or vector components named.
o The angular acceleration of the body with the given, assumed, or observed
direction(s) shown and the vector or vector component(s) named. In cases of 2-D
motion, only a vector component normal to the plane of motion will be present.
Any support or connection to another element that restricts the motion in any way, be that
zero motion or nonzero motion. (Note this is quite different from the FBD which must be
shown free from all supports, and shows forces not motion.)

Some students (and some texts) attempt to combine the FBD and KD into a single diagram.
This should never be done. Some examples of FBDs and KDs a successful student would
create for the boat lifting problem are shown in Figure 1.3. You will be expected to do this
correctly as the second step in formulating the governing equations using Newtons Second
Law for dynamics.
19

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.

T
1 T
1
T
2
T
2
T
2
T
2
T
2
T
2 T
2
T
2
T
3
T
3
T
3
T
3
T
1 T
1
T
1 T
1
12000 lb
12000 lb
T
3
T
3
T
3
T
3
12000 lb
FBD of boat
FBD of pulley
FBD of boat,
frame, pulley
Figure 1.2 Free bodies cut from crane lifting boat.
photo courtesy of: www.boatsales.uk.net
Coordinate System:
Right-Handed,
x-y is plane of motion,
applies to all diagrams.
y
x
z
20

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.

FBD of pulley
Figure 1.3 Student FBDs and KDs.
KD of pulley
KD of boat,
frame, pulley
FBD of boat,
frame, pulley
KD of boat FBD of boat
Coord
System
FBD of frame KD of frame
www.boatsales.uk.net

21

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.

EXAMPLE 1.1 Statics and Dynamics of Lifting: If the boat is held by the crane but not
moved up or down, its velocity is a constant (i.e. zero) and therefore the vertical acceleration of
the mass of the boat is zero. In fact, if the crane is lifting the boat at a constant vertical speed,
the same can be said. The case of no motion at all is clearly a case of static equilibrium. The
constant speed case is referred to as quasi-static since the governing equation and its solution are
the same as for the truly static case. Therefore, Newtons Second Law for the zero acceleration
in the vertical direction (upward assumed positive and shown by the arrow at left side) gives

1
2 12000lb 0
y
F T = and
1
6000lb T .

The fact that T
1
is positive means that the assumed direction shown on the FBD is CORRECT.
Using the same directions for the FBD but assuming downward (note arrow) is positive gives

1
2 12000lb 0
y
F T = and
1
6000lb T .

Here again we find T
1
is positive and this again means that the assumed direction shown on the
FBD is CORRECT. The direction selected for positive in writing the equation does not matter
but the direction shown on the FBD matters a lot. You should make it a habit to show the
positive direction used when writing an equation as was done above to avoid sign errors.

What would the two equations above have given if you had drawn the FBD assuming the
cable force was pushing down on the cut in the cable? How would you interpret the result for
T
1
?

Define in your own words what we mean by acceleration and deceleration.

As your first quantitative Learning Exercise, you will be asked to use the diagrams in Figure 1.2
and the guide given for problem solving to model lifting the boat as it is being lifted up or
lowered.

From these simple examples, you will easily see how closely static and dynamic conditions are
related. The importance of showing the directions of forces and accelerations or decelerations
in the FBD and KD and using these in the governing equations will also be evident. Hopefully,
the effects of the direction and magnitude of velocity vector and changes in the velocity vector
will also have been noted.

1-4 Types of Motion: Pure Translation

We have already dealt with translation in the example above since it is the simplest type of
motion. Motion in a straight line is the simplest type of translation. If the boat above is lifted or
lowered vertically with no swinging, it is undergoing straight line translation. For a more
general definition, we say the body is moving in pure translation when it moves such that all
points on it travel along paths that have the same length, shape, and orientation. Figures 1.4 and
22

Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.
1.5 illustrate such motion, first along a straight line and then along a curved line. Envision a
book lying flat on a horizontal desk and being moved as shown. Even though the book is a 3-D
body, this motion is called planar translation since it can be fully defined by two position
coordinates, say x and y, at any given time during the motion. The position coordinate system
can be aligned with the sides of the desk as shown or in any other direction in the plane of the
desk. Each and every point on a body moves along an identical path when the body translates
along a straight line or curved line.

y
x

Figure 1.4 Planar translation of a body along a straight line in the x-y plane.
G G
y
x
Figure 1.5 Planar translation of a body along a curved line in the x-y plane.

G
G
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Copyright 2008, S.B. Biggers, for Clemson University students currently in ME 201 only, no distribution
permitted without permission of author.
As previously mentioned, in dynamics we will often be particularly interested in studying the
motion of the point defined as the center of gravity, CG. We will use the symbol G to represent
the CG. We used the CG of the boat to define the location of its total weight in the FBDs. This
very important point will be precisely defined in a subsequent section and methods to find it will
be developed. For the time being, just think of it as the point on which any body can be
balanced, regardless of the bodys orientation in space. For simple rectangular shaped bodies
with uniform density, the CG is simply the geometric center. Some textbooks study dynamics
and statics of a particle, a body whose size and shape are unimportant, separately from rigid
bodies. In this text, we concentrate on rigid bodies since all real bodies have some size and
shape. However, a rigid body in pure translation can be fully modeled by tracking the motion of
its CG, which is identical to defining the motion of a particle located at the same point. This is
exactly what we did in the boat example.

(1) How is the motion of the book shown in Figure 1.6 different from that in Figure 1.5 even
though the CG moves along the same path? (2) How would you classify this motion? (3)
Sketch the paths of motion of the corners of the book and compare these to the paths the
corners took in Figure 1.5. (4) What differences do you see? Suppose the size of the book is
extremely small, in fact negligibly small, compared to the path of motion. In this case one might
approximate the motion of the book as the motion of a single point or particle having the mass of
the book. The particle approximating the book would most reasonably be located at the point
defined as the CG. (5) I f this assumption is to be made, how would you classify the motion of
the approximation of the book in Figure 1.6 as a particle? (6) How would it compare to the
motion in Figure 1.5 if the book is treated as a particle?

y
x
Figure 1.6 Planar motion of a body along a curved line in the x-y plane.

G
G