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Distribution of weights and net force

  1. Oct 19, 2007 #1
    Can someone explain to me why putting different weights in certain angles can alter the force. I was just doing a lab in class using a force table, where the weights dangled and you have to prevent the ring from touching the pole in the center. If the mass of the object doesn't change and ( I'm assuming the gravity is the same applying to all weights), why does the force become greater( or less) in certain areas? and what would one use find the resultant force of two angles?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2007 #2
    Can you look at that table and mentally see "x" and "y" axes? What angles would those axes be at?

    Since forces are vectors, they can be "broken up" into x and y components. How do you do that?

    What formulas describe static equilibrium.

    Come back with some of these, or similar, questions answered and some work shown.
  4. Oct 20, 2007 #3


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    Because the angle of applied force has changed.

    The resultant force is the vector sum of the components.
  5. Oct 20, 2007 #4
    "Because the angle of applied force has changed."

    It can't be just as simple as that can it? Just the angle? Is there another factor that is acting on it that increases( or decreases) the force, besides the the angle, the mass, and gravity? I already turned in the lab before I made this thread so you guys don't have to worry about me leeching, I am just curious how changing a couple of degree, even if minor can have such a great affect.
  6. Oct 20, 2007 #5


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    Yes it is that simple.

    Draw a free body diagram, which will help you determine the vector sum.

    Think about what a vector is. It has magnitude AND direction. So as the direction (angle) changes so will the resultant force.
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