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Homework Help: Circular Motion Seesaw Balance Question

  1. Nov 28, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Describe the relationship between the resulting torque from each scenario using the torque equation.

    Question this question is addressing- Using the bricks from the materials on the right, create and record 10 different combinations of two unequal masses that result in a balanced system.

    2. Relevant equations
    t= r*Fsin(theta)

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I am assuming theta is 90, seeing as torque is perpendicular and the balance is flat because it is in equilibrium. But I am very confused on F in this equation and I am wondering how you would relate this equation to a balanced system.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2015 #2


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    Gold Member

    First, you need to pick an axis to take torques about. You mention a seesaw, so the fulcrum seems the most reasonable point. (Depending on the question details, there could be a better choice.)
    For a balanced system, the sum of the torques is zero. So you need to use the formula you quoted to find the torque from each force about the chosen axis. Pay attention to signs.
    Your question is a bit vague. If I have not answered it, please provide full details of the problem are stuck on and where you are up to in solving it.
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