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Homework Help: Energy/Work pendulum problem

  1. Oct 18, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Imagine a space station has been built on Venus, and a pendulum is taken outside to determine the acceleration of gravity. The pendulum is a ball having mass m is connected by a strong string of length L to a pivot point and held in place in a vertical position. A wind exerting constant force of magnitude F is blowing from left to right.

    Venus has an extremely dense atmosphere, which consists mainly of carbon dioxide and a small amount of nitrogen. The winds near the surface of Venus are much slower than that on Earth. They actually move at only a few kilometers per hour (generally less than 2 m/s and with an average of 0.3 to 1.0 m/s), but due to the high density of the atmosphere at the surface, this is still enough to transport dust and small stones across the surface.

    (a) If the ball is released from rest, what is the maximum height H reached by the ball, as measured from its initial height? Check if your result is valid both for cases when 0 H L, and for L H 2L.
    (b) Compute the value of H using the values m = 2.00 kg, L = 2.00 m, and F = 14.7 N. The gravitational acceleration on Venus is measured to be m/s2
    (c) Using these same values, determine the equilibrium height of the ball.
    (d) Could the equilibrium height ever be larger than L? Explain.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I honestly have no idea where to even start this. My only thought was you take the maximum velocity that the wind could be and somehow use this to calculate height?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2009 #2


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    Identify the forces acting on the ball in its defected position. From that find the angle of deflection with vertical by resolving the forces along x and y axis.
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