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MattGeo

- 26

- 3

Like say when you open a door, you do so by pushing furthest from the hinge because that maximizes the torque, so naturally the doorknob is opposite side of the hinge. Now say the door was twice as wide. It's a uniform door so also say it now has twice the mass. Because the moment of inertia depends on both mass and the square of the radius the moment of inertia will be 8 times as large, but you have doubled the radial distance at which you apply torque so you have 2 times as much torque. So the door now rotates at 1/4 the angular acceleration of the original door? and twice the original torque is still felt at the hinge? It seems like if the lever arm or force multiplier cannot be considered to have negligible size then higher torques are achieved but at lower angular accelerations. Is this true or am I just confused?

Also consider a long rod which is fixed to a hinge mounted to a wall at one end. Sort of like a seesaw where the fulcrum is all the way to edge of one of the ends. The rod starts out horizontal and is allowed to swing down, sweeping out a quarter circle as it becomes vertical. If you make this rod increasingly longer and its moment of inertia increases, will its angular acceleration begin to decrease? It seems to imply that the moment you let go it would take longer to speed up rotationally under the force of gravity. Something about this seems wrong to me but intuition is often wrong.

Any clarification to this would be much appreciated.