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Sudden force and gradual force

  1. Dec 28, 2005 #1
    Force cause a mass to accelerate.

    1)But what does a sudden force do?

    2)What does an gradual force do?

    What is a sudden load or gradual force ? what is their difference in result? In my opinion all loads are suddenly applied?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2005 #2


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    Not to be flippant but a sudden force cause sudden acceleration and a gradual force causes gradual acceleration. Do you have a specific problem in mind?
  4. Dec 29, 2005 #3


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    If you have previously defined, say, length and time scales suitable to your
    problem, then you might define a "sudden force" as a force that over a time period much smaller than your time scale imparts an appreciable change in some object's momentum (if it is the motion of some object you're studying).

    A "gradual force" would need to act over a time period roughly of the same order as the time scale in order to cause an appreciable change in the object's momentum.

    Note, however, that neither term is strictly standard terms, and I've just given one interpretation of what you seem to be asking.
  5. Jan 2, 2006 #4
    [tex]\Delta p = \int F(t) dt[/tex]

    Thats the definition of how force affects momentum. If the force is a short sharp blow, like a delta function, then you'll get the same change in momentum instantaneously as a very weak force applied for a long time. Provided the integrals are the time, you'll get the same result, just in different time scales.
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