Statics

Statics is the branch of mechanics that is concerned with the analysis of (force and torque, or "moment") acting on physical systems that do not experience an acceleration (a=0), but rather, are in static equilibrium with their environment. The application of Newton's second law to a system gives:

Where bold font indicates a vector that has magnitude and direction. is the total of the forces acting on the system, is the mass of the system and is the acceleration of the system. The summation of forces will give the direction and the magnitude of the acceleration and will be inversely proportional to the mass. The assumption of static equilibrium of = 0 leads to:

The summation of forces, one of which might be unknown, allows that unknown to be found. So when in static equilibrium, the acceleration of the system is zero and the system is either at rest, or its center of mass moves at constant velocity. Likewise the application of the assumption of zero acceleration to the summation of moments acting on the system leads to:

Here, is the summation of all moments acting on the system, is the moment of inertia of the mass and = 0 the angular acceleration of the system, which when assumed to be zero leads to:

The summation of moments, one of which might be unknown, allows that unknown to be found. These two equations together, can be applied to solve for as many as two loads (forces and moments) acting on the system.

From Newton's first law, this implies that the net force and net torque on every part of the system is zero. The net forces equaling zero is known as the first condition for equilibrium, and the net torque equaling zero is known as the second condition for equilibrium. See statically indeterminate.


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