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03-07-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Default (Statics) Moment

We've been going over moments and couple systems in my Statics class, and I've been barely grasping the concept. I don't know why it's getting so much harder for me to understand these things all of a sudden, but it's taking me some 6-7 hours to get through 4 of these questions. I really do need help trying to figure out exactly what I'm supposed to be doing.

And it's difficult even with all these notes and hand-outs I get in-class that try and go through the process step-by-step, but I can never apply it to homework questions because I haven't really understood it, myself. Especially now that we're dealing with systems in three-space, I'm even more lost (hah).

Then I take a look at the teacher's edition to see what they do, and everything looks so simple. I'm just not sure I'm supposed to set up my equations and how I'm supposed to see the free body diagram.

Can someone explain this to me? Maybe I just need the steps explained in another fashion.
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03-11-2012   #2 (permalink)
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Hi,
I suppose the first thing you should do it review the dot product and the cross product. This help you will electronics (Coulomb's Law, Biot-Savart Law) if you do those in the future. I had an issue doing those without grasping vector products.

I guess a few other things you should remember is that the sum of all moments around a point is equal to zero in a static situation.
Also choosing which point to pivot around can help to solve those sorts of problems. If you have an unknown force that you do not need to work out, make that force go through your pivot point, and then the overall torque is 0.

Also don't forget to break your forces and distances into x, y and z components, this is done with a little bit of triganometry. You may find it easier to sum all the x components, you components and z components seperately.

I haven't done statics for a while, so sorry if I am no help.

Anyways, try looking at the following simulation. Not sure how good it is.
Torque - Rotation, Torque, Moment of Inertia - PhET
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