- #1

nigels

- 36

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The other day I caught sight of a trivial objects arrangement: a basketball placed on top of a 6-sided cardboard box on the floor, and I wondered how the weight of the hollowed sphere could cause bending on the supported, flat top surface of the box. However, despite having studied physics in undergrad, I could not work out the mechanisms involved: 1) Could time be a contributing factor to the bending (i.e, the box gradually cave in over time) or if the surface fails to bend at t

_{0}, it won't ever bend? 2) does bending depend on the top surface area of the box, e.g., whether increasing/decreasing the top surface area 100x while maintaining the same four sides would make a difference? 3) how does the material (e.g., rigidity) and weight of either the basketball (~700g) or the cardboard box factor into the their opposing forces and latter's bending?

Any intuition or explanatory equation is much appreciated!