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Minimum area of a shoe heel exerting pressure

  1. Oct 1, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The floor on a dance hall can take a pressure of 3.5 MPa before getting damaged. A lady of mass 60kg wears high heeled shoes. What is the smallest area of the sole of a heel she could wear such that it won't permanently damage the floor?

    2. Relevant equations

    Area = Force/Pressure

    3. The attempt at a solution

    3.5 MPa = 3500000 Pa

    Force (weight) = 60 x 9.8 = 588N

    But I don't know where to go from there...I tried just dividing Force by Pressure but got a different answer to that in the book. Thanks in advance to anyone that can help! :-)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2013 #2

    SteamKing

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    We can't tell what you did unless you show us your calculations.
     
  4. Oct 2, 2013 #3

    haruspex

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    ... It will also help if you post the answer from the book.
     
  5. Oct 2, 2013 #4
    The book said 8.4 x 10^-5 m^2, but I did 588 (force) / 3500000 (pressure) = 1.68 x 10^-4.

    I'm feeling there's a step I'm missing but I'm not sure...
     
  6. Oct 2, 2013 #5

    haruspex

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    You may have noticed that your answer is exactly twice that given in the book (as I suspected).
    Why do you think that might be? Btw, I agree with your answer. Whoever wrote the book has outsmarted him/herself.
     
  7. Oct 2, 2013 #6

    arildno

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    He outsmarted me at least, although that isn't too difficult in the general case. Damn! :biggrin:
     
  8. Oct 2, 2013 #7
    Ah ok, so you don't think I've gone wrong? I was a little confused haha
     
  9. Oct 2, 2013 #8

    arildno

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    No, you haven't.
    But:
    Is that area the area under a SINGLE shoe?
     
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