Equivalent forces

Equivalent forces

Equivalent forces


“How can we simplify force diagrams?”


When working in physics or engineering, we all have to work with forces. Sometimes, we will have a multitude of forces, all going in different direction. However, how could we simplify all of these different elements of a problem to get the big picture and streamline our solution process? Well, let’s think about it. First we should think of our objective, and that is to see what happens when all of these forces are combined. So how about we take the components of each of the separate forces and moments, add them together, and find the equivalent force for all of these values? For example, let’s suppose that we had a bar of length 6 meters, with one force of 20 acting on the far left from the top and another one of 20 newtons acting at the far right coming in from the bottom. When we do all of the calculations, the equivalent force in the x direction will be 0 Newtons (Since none of the forces have an x component), The net force in the y direction will be 0 Newtons (since both forces are going in opposite directions, they will subtract each other) and the net moment will be 135 N-m (Since they are both in the same moment direction, 3m*20N+3m*25N=135N-m). With the use of equivalent forces, we can analyze an unlimited amount of problems, ranging from structural engineering to electrodynamics

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