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I'm stumped

  1. Oct 9, 2005 #1
    A 2.0 kg wood box slides down a vertical wood wall while you push on it at a 45 degree angle. What magnitude of force should you apply to cause the box to slide down at a constant speed? (Problem 51, Chapter 5, Knight)

    I can't figure out this problem and do not have the text to refer to (alibris.com sent me the wrong book). I'm not having problems with FBD's. I tried to set the acceleration to zero so it travels at a constant speed but with zero acceleration there is zero force. I'm confused.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 9, 2005 #2

    Physics Monkey

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    This is exactly right, you want zero net force. How else can the box move with constant velocity?

    There are four forces in the problem, the force of gravity, the normal force, the friction force, and your applied force. Resolve these four into components and find the magnitude of the applied force necessary to have zero net force vertically.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2005
  4. Oct 9, 2005 #3

    Pengwuino

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    Well remember, with constant speed, there is zero NET force.
     
  5. Oct 9, 2005 #4
    Oh. . . now I'm really confused.

    Thanks for the reply
     
  6. Oct 9, 2005 #5
    That seems to easy!
     
  7. Oct 9, 2005 #6
    I thought that if there was a zero NET force that the box would be at rest.
     
  8. Oct 9, 2005 #7

    Physics Monkey

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    If there is zero net force, the acceleration is zero. But if the body is already moving then it keeps moving by Newton's 1st Law.
     
  9. Oct 9, 2005 #8

    Pengwuino

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    Nope, it would just be moving at the same speed its been moving. Remember newton's first law. What you must imply however is that the box is already moving down that 45 degree plane when you start actually pushing back
     
  10. Oct 9, 2005 #9
    Thanks! That helps a lot!

    I'm not sure how to find the normal force. I knoe its horizontal from the wall but I am unsure of how to find it. I need it to find the force of friction.
     
  11. Oct 9, 2005 #10

    Physics Monkey

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    You can find the normal by balancing the forces in the horizontal direction (remember the applied force has a component in that direction). The box certainly isn't accelerating away from the wall.
     
  12. Oct 9, 2005 #11
    Yeah I know but there were know horizontal forces given in the problem.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2005
  13. Oct 9, 2005 #12

    Physics Monkey

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    Since the applied force hits the block at a 45 degree angle, it has a component in the horizontal direction. In other words, you are pushing the box into the wall and the wall pushes back (normal force). There would be no normal force if no one was pushing the block into the wall.
     
  14. Oct 9, 2005 #13
    Thanks guys
    I have the answer!
     
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