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Chap 9.

Static Equilibrium
In this chapter we special cases of motion where the net torque or force
acting on the system is zero. We consider cases where the object is in
equilibrium. We studied earlier that
The rate of chance of linear momentum is force.
dP
F =
=0

p = constant
dt
If the momentum does not change then the body does not accelerate
and the force on the system is zero.
If force on a system is zero it implies that the linear momentum is constant or conserved.
The rate of chance of angular momentum is torque
dL
=0

L = constant
dt
If the angular momentum does not change then the body has a uniform angular velocity and the torque on the system is zero. This gives
L = I = constant
=

If torque on a system is zero it implies that the angular


momentum is constant or conserved.
We use both these static conditions in problems henceforth.

Center of Mass We studied the COM of system earlier. A rod


suspend by a string tends would be in perfect equilibrium if suspended
at the COM of the system.
Let us suppose we have mass m1, m2, m3, m4, ... at distance
x1, x2, x3, x4, ..., y1 , y2, y3 , y4, ... , then the C.O.M of the system is
given as

mi xi m1x1 + m2x2...
=
xCM = 
m
m1 + m2..
 i
mi yi m1y1 + m2y2 ...
yCM = 
=
mi
m1 + m2..

Where M = i=1,N mi is the total mass of the object The center of
gravity is that point on the object where the weight of the object acts.
For all practical purpose CM and CG are the same point.
Problem 1: Masses m1 = 1 kg,m2 = 2 kg, and m3 = 3 kg and m4 = 4

kg are at four corner of a rectangle with dimension 6 m 8 m. Obtain


the CM of the system from the center of the rectangle.
Soln 1:
m1 x1 + m2 x2 + m3 x3 + m4 x4
m1 + m2 + m3 + m4
(1 + 2 + 3 + 4)  4
=
= 4m
10

xCM =
xCM

m1y1 + m2y2 + m3y3 + m4y4


m1 + m2 + m3 + m4
(1 + 2 + 3 + 4)  3
= 3m
=
10

yCM =
yCM

It is exactly coincides with the center.

Let us consider a typical seesaw problem in order for a system to be


balanced the net torque and the net force on the system should be zero.
Let us consider the following example

Problem 2: A rigid, uniform, horizontal bar of mass m1 and length l

is supported by two identical massless strings. Both strings are vertical.


String A is attached at a distance d < L/2 from the left end of the bar
and is connected to the ceiling; string B is attached to the left end of the
bar and is connected to the floor. A small block of mass m2 is supported
against gravity by the bar at a distance x from the left end of the bar, as
shown in the figure.
Thoughout this problem positive torque is that which spins an object
counterclockwise. Use g = acceleration due to gravity
Soln 2:
Find , the tension in string A.?
Total torque about string B should be zero
L
TA d = m1g + m2g x
2
Find , the tension in string B.?
TA = TB + m1g + m2g

m1g L2 + m2gx
TA =
d
TB = TA g(m1 + m2)

If the bar and block are too heavy the strings may break. Which of the
two identical strings will break first?
Ans TA ..why?
If the mass of the block is too large and the block is too close to the
left end of the bar (near string B) then the horizontal bar may become
unstable (i.e., the bar may no longer remain horizontal).
What is the smallest possible value of xc such that the bar remains stable?
This will happen when TB = 0 and thus TA g(m1 + m2)
m1g L2 + m2gx
m1 + m2 Lm1
TA = g(m1 + m2) =

= xc = d
d
m2
2m2
Problem 68 -Text: A 20. m long beam weighing 550 rests on the walls
A and B. as in fig. There are four positions (CABD).Find the maximum
weight of person standing at D such that he does not tip the beam.
Soln 68 Text:
xCA = 3.0 m

xAB = 12.0 m

xCD = 20.0 m

Let center of gravity be at point G = 10 m Condition for equilibruim sum


of forces should be zero. At the same time for maximum mass FA should
be zero
FB = W + mg

(1)

Torque about point D should be zero


W.xGD 550. 10
= 1100 N
FB xBD = W.xGD
FB =
=
xBD
5
Thus maximum weight is
mg = FB W = 1100 550 = 550 N

(2)

The force at FA = 0 and FB = 1100 N


b) Now if the person is moved at point 2.0 m to the right of point B.
Torque about point A should be zero
xCA
xAD
WCA
+ FB xAB WAD
mgxAP = 0
2
2
Solve for FB
xCA
WAD xAD
2 + mgxAP WCA 2
FB =
xAB
17 17
3 3
550 20 2 + 550(14) 550 20
2
= 962.5
FB =
12

The total force is zero


FA + FB = W + mg

FA = W + mg FB = 1100 962.5 = 137.5 N

b) Now if the person is moved at point 2.0 m to the left of point B.


Torque about point A should be zero
WAD xAD
+ mgxAP WCA xCA
2
2
FB =
xAB
17 17
3 3
550 20 2 + 550(10) 550 20
2
= 780 N
FB =
12
The total force is zero
FA + FB = W + mg

FA = W + mg FB = 1100 780 = 320. N

ELASTICITY WILL NOT BE TAUGHT AND HENCE IS NOT PART


OF COURSE.