Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Why is it easier to snap a longer rod than a shorter one?

  1. Mar 1, 2013 #1
    I'm a complete newbie to physics, just wanted an answer to something.

    Why is it easier to snap a longer rod compared to that of a smaller rod of the same material?

    Is it just down to greater torque applied with respect to the longer rod?

    I have tried to google it but it doesnt come up with anything with any substance, maybe i need to improve on my google'ing!

    Also for example with a rattlesnakes rattle, after many years sometimes it snaps (possibly from hitting it against things etc). But am i right in saying that it would be the lateral load in the motion of the rattle that causes it to get weaker also? and does the lateral load typically increase with length?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 1, 2013 #2

    jack action

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is all about leverage.

    The greater the distance between two forces reacting to each other, the greater the bending moment.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook