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An object is said to be in static equilibrium when the net force and net

torque acting on it is zero. In cases where there are multiple forces and

torques acting on an object, static equilibrium means that they all perfectly

counterbalance each other. It is very important to understand that stationary

objects often have many forces and torques acting on them, and need to be

carefully considered, especially in the field of engineering. In this experiment

we measured the aspects of an object in static equilibrium with only the force

of gravity and normal forces acting on it. The objective of this experiment

was to discover the relationships between distance, force and torque when an

object is in static equilibrium. First we determined the centre of gravity of the

object by calculating the torque at different distances from the pivot using

the formula: Torque = Force *Distance. Then analyzed the forces and

torques acting on the object when it had a mass attached to it, using the

same formula for torque as before as well as the formula: Torque = mass *

g* length where g is the acceleration due to gravity.

Importance:

In this lab, it is important for the theory of Static equilibrium to be proved and shown

through equations and calculations done to show a net force of forces and torques all

being equal zero. The concept of static equilibrium was easily displayed and made more

evident by using the following equations and principles of static equilibrium below:

Rule 1: The sum of all external forces must equal zero:

Rule 2: The sum of all the torques with respects to a common point must equal zero:

Equations:

1. The mass of the meter stick was measured

2. Hanging it from the hook of a force meter on one side and using a

stationary pivot on the other side supported the rod.

3. The force displayed on the force meter was recorded

4. The distance between the two points of support was measured and

recorded.

5. The centre of gravity of the meter stick was determined using the

gathered

data.

1. A mass of 500g was placed between the pivot and the other supported

end of the meter stick.

2. the force and distance was measured once static equilibrium was

achieved

3. The previous two steps were repeated two additional times at different

distances from the pivot.

4. The results were recorded in a table.

1. The pivot supporting the meter stick was replaced with another

force meter.

2. The 500 g mass was added in between the two points of support.

3. The positions of the two force meters were adjusted until the meter

stick achieved static equilibrium.

4. Step 3 was repeated two additional times for different values.

5. The Data was recorded in a table

Part A: Determination of the Centre of Gravity

Mass of the Ruler:

0.2169kg

d (m)

F (N)

g (Nm)

0.50 0.005

2.6 0.05

1.30 0.51

0.60 0.005

2.2 0.05

1.32 0.50

0.70 0.005

1.9 0.05

1.33 0.46

Uncertainty 1: 0.51

Uncertainty 2: 0.50

Uncertainty 3: 0.46

Calculating the uncertainties of Torque:

Uncertainty 1: 0.51

Uncertainty 2: 0.50

Uncertainty 3: 0.46

M (kg)

l (m)

d (m)

F (N)

Fd

(Nm)

g=

mgxcm

(Nm)

Mgl

(Nm)

g (Nm)

0.5482 0.0005

0.40

0.005

0.60 0.005

5.8 0.05

3.48

0.43

- 3.48

0.012

- 2.15

0.62

- 2.15 0.51

0.4482 0.0005

0.30

0.005

0.60 0.005

4.4 0.05

2.64

0.56

- 2.64

0.012

- 1.32

0.80

- 1.32 0.46

0.3482 0.0005

0.20

0.005

0.60 0.005

3.3 0.05

1.98

0.48

- 1.98

0.012

- 0.68

1.15

- 0.68 0.49

Uncertainty Fd1: 0.43

Uncertainty Fd2:0.56

Uncertainty Fd3:0.48

Uncertainty g 1: 0.012

Uncertainty g 2: 0.012

Uncertainty g 3: 0.012

Uncertainty Mgl 2: 0.80

Uncertainty Mgl 3: 1.15

Uncertainty 1: 0.051

Uncertainty 2: 0.046

Uncertainty 3: 0.049

M (kg)

l (m)

F (N)

P (N)

Mg

(N)

Fg=mg (N)

Fi (N)

0.5482 0.0005

0.20 0.005

4.1 0.05

4.5 0.05

5.38

2.13

1.09 0.07

0.4482 0.0005

0.30 0.005

4.6 0.05

2.9 0.05

4.40

2.13

0.97 0.07

0.3482 0.0005

0.40 0.005

4.8 0.05

1.9 0.05

3.42

2.13

1.15 0.07

Uncertainty of F:

= (0.0005)2+(0.005)2+(0.05)2+(0.05)2

=0.07

The objective of this lab is to study the role of forces and torques for an object in

equilibrium. This lab is divided into three parts. The first part is where we determine the center of

gravity of the ruler by changing the distance d as it is shown in the diagram in Part I. The second

and the third parts are meant to measure parallel forces on the ruler in equilibrium by changing

both the mass and the length (L) as shown in the diagram Part II & III.

In the first part, we needed two measurements, distance and force, in order to measure the

torque. As we increase the distance in each trial, we observe that the force gets smaller but torque

is still the same even the fact the numbers are slightly off because off observational and reading

errors. Therefore, distance is inversely proportional to the force and torque is always constant.

From our calculations, we notice that the measurements of the center of gravity of the ruler are

relatively the same. Therefore, the average center of mass of the ruler is around 0.62 m from the

pivot.

In the second part, we are asked to change both the mass and the length (L). There are 4

forces acting on the ruler: the weight of the mass (Mg), the upward forced exerted by both pivot

and the newton metre, and the weight of the ruler itself. Since the forces are in equilibrium, the

must be equal to zero. The net torques of the experiment in Table II is not zero because of

observational and reading errors or else the object wasnt in equilibrium. From the results, we

notice as we keep the distance (d) constant and decrease the mass or the force exerted on the

ruler, the magnitude of torque also decreases. Therefore, torque is proportional to the force

exerted. We also notice the similarity between the numbers stated on the torque of (Mgl) and the

net toque. From these results, we can conclude that the net torque of the system is equal to the

toque exerted by the mass on the tip of the pivot.

In the third part of experiment, we have two newton metres and a mass hanged on the

ruler. As we increase (l), making the mass get closer to the newton metre (F), the forced exerted

on the newton metre (F) increases the forced exerted on the newton metre (P) decreases. It

increases due to the fact that mass (M) is able to change the centre of the gravity of ruler.

Therefore, the length (l) is inversely proportional the force exerted on (P). We also notice from

Part II is that the force exerted on the pivot also decreases as the length increase. In conclusion,

the length is inversely proportional to the force in rotation (torque) system.

References

Prentice Hall, 2010. Print.

NASA. "Center of Gravity." NASA - Title... FirstGov: USA, 11 July 2008. Web. 11

Oct. 2011. <http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/cg.html>.

Physics Department: Ryerson University. Static Equilibrium: Forces and

Torques. LAB.no. 2. Print.

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