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Tension Problem

  1. Jan 26, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A person of weight W stands on the ball of one foot. Find
    the tension in the calf muscle and the force exerted by the shinbones
    on the bones of the foot, in terms of W, a, and b. (The tension is a
    measure of how tight the calf muscle has been pulled; it has units
    of newtons, and equals the amount of force applied by the muscle
    where it attaches to the heel.) For simplicity, assume that all the
    forces are at 90-degree angles to the foot. Suggestion: Write down
    an equation that says the total force on the foot is zero, and another
    equation saying that the total torque on the foot is zero; solve the
    two equations for the two unknowns

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm not sure what to do for this one.Am I suppose to do W=a*b?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2009 #2


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    Well, you need to tell us what a and b are before we can help you.

    It's a very good idea to start out by drawing a picture (even if it's relatively crude) and identifying forces. I would suggest trying to stand on one foot. You'll find out interesting things like your center of gravity has to be above your foot or you'll fall over. It also might help you to identify the forces. Once you have your forces and where they're acting identified, then you can try to write the relevant equations.
  4. Jan 26, 2009 #3
    ais the back of the foot and b is the front with the ball.
  5. Jan 26, 2009 #4


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    Two questions: (1) Just to make sure, is the heel of the foot off the ground? (2) Do you have the distance between ta and b?
  6. Jan 26, 2009 #5


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    That was suppose to be "between a and b"
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