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Statics

Introduction to statics
Static Equilibrium Equations
Examples:
 Suspended beam
 Hanging lamp

Australian Institute of Sport
Statics:
“Statics” is the study of systems that don’t move.
Balanced objects
Buildings, Suspension bridges
Clifton Suspension Bridge Chinese Golden Dragon Acrobats
Statics:
Example: Evaluate the forces acting on a car parked on a hill.
x
y
|
N
mg
f
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Car on Hill:
Use Newton’s 2nd Law: F
NET
= MA
CM
= 0

x
y
|
N
mg
f
F =
¿
0
x: f - mg sin | = 0

f = mg sin |
y: N - mg cos | = 0

N = mg cos |
Suspended beam:
Now consider a beam of mass M suspended by two strings as
shown. We want to find the tension in each string:

L/2
L/4
M
x cm
T
1
T
2
Mg
F =
¿
0  First use

T
1
+ T
2
= Mg

 This is no longer enough to
solve the problem!
1 equation, 2 unknowns.

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Suspended beam
We know the beam is not rotating!
t
NET
= Io = 0
 The sum of all torques is zero.

 This is true about any axis
we choose.
t =
¿
0
L/2
L/4
M
x cm
T
1
T
2
Mg
Using Torque...
Choose the rotation axis to be along the z direction (out of the
page) through the CM:
t
2 2
4
=T
L
The torque due to the string
t
1 1
2
= ÷T
L
The torque due to the string on
Gravity exerts no torque about the CM
L/2
L/4
M
x cm
T
1
T
2
Mg
Using Torque...
Now
T
L
T
L
2 1
4 2
0 ÷ =
T T
2 1
2 =
T
1
+ T
2
= Mg
T Mg
1
1
3
=
T Mg
2
2
3
=
L/2
L/4
M
x cm
T
1
T
2
Mg
t =
¿
0
Approach to Statics:
t =
¿
0
F =
¿
0
In general, we can use the two equations

to solve any statics problem.
When choosing axes about which to calculate torque, we can
sometimes be clever and make the problem easier....
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Juan and Bettina are carrying 80 kg block on a
massless 4 m board. Find the force in newtons
exerted by each to carry the block.
1. Juan 400 N, Bettina 400 N
2. Juan 350 N, Bettina 450 N
3. Juan 300 N, Bettina 500 N
4. Juan 250 N, Bettina 550 N
Juan and Bettina are carrying 80 kg block on a
massless 4 m board. Find the force in newtons
exerted by each to carry the block.
Force:
Torque:
mg
F
J
F
B
Center of Mass & Statics
The center of mass is at the point where the system
balances!
Sum of all gravitational torques about an axis through the
center of mass is 0!
0
2 2 1 1
= ÷ d m d m
m
1
m
2
+
d
1
d
2
CM
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0
2 2 1 1
= ÷ gd m gd m
Mobile
A mobile hangs as shown below.
 The rods are massless.
 The mass of the ball at the bottom right is 1kg.
 Find the unknown masses.
1 kg
1 m 3 m
1 m 2 m
Solution
First figure out M
1
.
1 kg
1 m 3 m
1 m 2 m
M
1
0 ) 1 ( ) 1 )( 3 (
1
= ÷ M m kg m
kg 3 M
1
=

Solution
Now M
2
.
0 ) 2 ( ) 4 )( 1 (
4
2
= ÷
=
M m kg m
kg T
M kg
2
2 =
M
2
1 kg
1 m 3 m
1 m 2 m
3 kg
T

Solution
 So finally
1 kg
1 m 3 m
1 m 2 m
3 kg
2 kg
Statics
A 1 kg ball is hung at the end of a rod 1 m long. The system balances
at a point on the rod 0.25 m from the end holding the mass.
What is the mass of the rod?
1. 0.5 kg 2. 1 kg 3. 2 kg

1 kg
1 m
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Solution
The total torque about the pivot must be zero.
1 kg
 The center of mass of the rod is at its center, 0.25 m to the
right of the pivot.
X
CM of rod
 Since this must balance the ball, which is the same distance
to the left of the pivot, the masses must be the same!
same distance
m
ROD
= 1 kg
Example: Hanging Lamp
A lamp of mass M hangs from the end of plank of mass m and
length L. One end of the plank is held to a wall by a hinge, and
the other end is supported by a massless string that makes an
angle | with the plank. (The hinge supplies a force to hold the
end of the plank in place.)
What is the tension in the string?
What are the forces supplied by the
hinge on the plank?
hinge
M
m
L
|
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M
m
L/2
|
F
x
F
y
T
L/2
Mg
mg
y
x
x: T cos | + F
x
= 0
y: T sin | + F
y
- Mg - mg = 0
t =
¿
0  Then in the z direction.
 choose the rotation axis to
be through the hinge so hinge forces
F
x
and F
y
will not be included
0 LTsin - mg
2
L
LMg = | +
F =
¿
0
First
Hanging Lamp...
So we have three equations and three unknowns:
F
x
= -T cos |
F
y
= Mg + mg - T sin |
M
m
L/2
|
F
x
F
y
T
L/2
Mg
mg
mg
2
L
LMg LTsin + = |
which we can solve to find:
( )
| sin
g
2
m
M
T
+
=
( )
| tan
g
2
m
M
F
x
+ ÷
=
F mg
y
=
1
2
What are the two forces F1 and F2 exerted by
a hand on a 5m long rod of mass m? Compare
them to a total force exerted by the hand.
1. F1=2 mg ; F2 =mg;
2. F1=11 mg; F2=10 mg;
3. F1=25 mg ; F2=24 mg;
4. F1 =50 mg; F2 = 49 mg.
5 m
10 cm
m
F1
F2
What are the two forces F1 and F2 exerted by
a hand on a 5m long rod of mass m? Compare
them to a total force exerted by the hand.
5 m
0.1 m
m
F1
F2
mg
2.4m
Torque:
Force:
A ladder (length L, mass m) leans against a smooth wall (no
A static frictional force F between the ladder and the floor
keeps it from slipping (µ
S
= 0.70)
 The angle between the ladder and the floor is |.
What angle | is needed to prevent the ladder
from slipping?
|
L
m
F
Consider all of the forces.
 Gravity
 Friction
 Normal forces N
f
and N
w
by the floor and wall

Use EF = 0

x: -N
w
+ F = 0
y: N
f
- mg = 0

F = N
w

N
f
= mg

|
m
F
mg
N
w
N
f
y
x
Now using base of ladder as axis. t =
¿
0
L/2
|
m
F
mg
N
w
N
f
) sin( ) 90 sin(
2
0 | | t
W
LN mg
L
+ + ÷ = =
¿
W
W
N
mg
N mg
2
1
) tan(
) sin( ) cos(
2
1
0
=
+ ÷ =
|
| |

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L/2
|
m
F
mg
N
w
N
f
W
N
mg
2
1
) tan( = |
mg N F
F N
S f S
W
µ µ = =
=
° =
=
·
= = =
36
71 .
7 . 0 2
1
2
1
2
1
) tan(
|
µ µ
|
S S
mg
mg
Tipping a Box
A box is placed on a ramp in the configurations shown below. Friction
prevents it from sliding. The center of mass of the box is indicated by
a blue dot in each case.
In which cases does the box tip over?
1. all 2. 2 & 3 3. 3 only 4. none

1 2
3
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Box
We have seen that the torque due to gravity acts as though all the
mass of an object is concentrated at the center of mass.
 Consider the bottom right corner of the box to be a pivot point.
 If the box can rotate in such a way that the center of mass is
lowered, it will!
1
2
3
up
down
Box
1 2
3
We have seen that the torque due to gravity acts as though all the
mass of an object is concentrated at the center of mass.
 Consider the bottom right corner of the box to be a pivot point.
 If the box can rotate in such a way that the center of mass is
lowered, it will!