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Statics

The science of staying still—from yoga to the justice of the sea.

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Newton's laws describe how motion relates to forces acting on objects. However, this chapter explores what Newton's laws tell us about objects that are not moving. We will introduce statics by considering card towers, static structures built without using an adhesive from, sometimes, thousands of ordinary playing cards.


Below is a tower of stacked, perfectly balanced playing cards. On which highlighted card is the net force greatest?

The Newtonikovs, a family of five renowned acrobatic siblings, are preparing for a death-defying, physics-adhering show.

The eldest Newtonikov, who has weight \(Mg\), waits for the others to show up. His body contacts the floor in several places.

What is the sum of all contact forces exerted by the floor on him?

The playing card is subjected to two forces perpendicular to its face, both with magnitude \(F\). A pair of equal and opposite forces applied to an extended body, as on the card below, is called a force couple.

What type of motion results from the action of these forces?

Master the problem solving skills of Classical Mechanics.

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