Solving Static Equilibrium Problems

The most common application involves the analysis of the forces acting upon a sign that is at rest.For example, consider the picture at the right that hangs on a wall.The leftward pull of cable A must balance the rightward pull of cable B and the sum of the upward pull of cable A and cable B must balance the weight of the sign.

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As always, make a nice drawing to show what's going on. We use this brainless, brute force approach to problems all the time.

Understand the rules, describe them using commands a computer understands, put numbers in, get answers out.

Sometimes, however, there are clever solutions available.

When forces are in equilibrium, their sum is zero and their will be no resultant.

This means, it should be possible to arrange the three vectors in this practice problem into a closed figure — a triangle.


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