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Knotted Falling Chain Problem

  1. Sep 17, 2009 #1
    While I was looking up about free falling chain problem(the question about a chain falling on to a table), I wondered how it would be if the chain is knotted. What I'm thinking is that if the chain has a knot, would it make much difference?

    Two questions;

    1) Once the knot hits the table, would it fall to one side or would it just keep falling in a straight line? (in real life)

    2) Wouldn't the knot's area and mass be too big that the force from hitting the table would slow the chain down, when the knot hits the table?

    I'm not that advanced in physics so it would be helpful if you can tell me everything that could change:smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2009 #2
    Can you provide some more information about the problem you're looking at, and what exactly you're wondering will happen... I'm not following you so far.
  4. Sep 21, 2009 #3
    When the knot hits the table, it's going to fall to one side. Now it's going to fall straight down until it hits the table. In fact, the chain is going to retain the same shape it initially had when you let go of it. Do you understand what I mean? Every link in the chain will fall at the same speed, so that means no two links will hit the table at the same time.

    The only way the table isn't going to stop the chain is if the force of the chain falling is greater than the resistance of the table.
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