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Bodies in equilibrium

Find the value of the force F applied, as shown in the figure given below, so that the rod

remains in equilibrium. The wall and the ground are assumed to be smooth. (W is the weight of

the ladder under consideration)

(a) W

(c)

3W

2

(b)

(d)

W

3

3W

Solution

Conceptualize/Classify: A system is in equilibrium when the sum of all the force and torques is

zero, that is,

F 0 and 0

The torque is defined as

r F

Fr sin F ( distance)

where r is the position vector of the point under consideration w.r.t the origin (axis of rotation).

Fx 0

F N1

Fy 0

W N2

For rotational equilibrium, net torque at point B should be zero. That is,

B 0

OA OB

l

2

Now we have

W N1

l

W cos30 N1 (l sin 30 )

2

W

2

3 N1

2 2

N1

3W

F

2

Conclusion: The net force applied for the rod to be in equilibrium is 3W / 2 . Note that for =

0, can be taken about any point in the system. Also torques due to N2 and F are zero as they

pass through B, the chosen axis of rotation.

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