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# Physics 1020

1
Experiment 6

## Equilibrium of a Rigid Body

!
CP

LW

P
Physics 1020
2 Equilibrium of a Rigid Body
Experiment 6

Introduction

## Static equilibrium is defined as a state where an object is not accelerating in

any way.
The two conditions for the equilibrium of a rigid body (such as a meter
stick) are 1. the vector sum of forces on the body must be zero and
2. the vector sum of torques on the body must be zero.

Σ𝐹⃑ = 0
Σ𝜏⃑ = 0
For a simple linear body fixed at some pivot, torque depends on two things;
the force 𝐹 and lever arm 𝑙. The torque is

𝜏 = 𝐹𝑙.
Torques that act to rotate the body in the counter-clockwise direction are
positive and those that rotate the body clockwise are negative. The pivot
point may be chosen to be any point on the rigid body in equilibrium.
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Experiment 6

Objectives

In this laboratory you will investigate the concepts of torque and equilibrium.

## 1. Become familiar with the concept of lever arm and torque.

2. Become familiar with the two conditions for static equilibrium.

You will also determine the weight and center of gravity of a meter stick as
well as learn how to balance forces to maintain static equilibrium.

You will investigate the equilibrium conditions for a case where some of the
forces may be at an angle to the rigid body.
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Experiment 6

Apparatus

## You should have this apparatus at

l Two meter sticks
l Pivot stand
l Pivot clamp
l Force probe
l Rods
l Set square
If anything is missing please let us
know.
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Experiment 6

## The center of gravity is the single point through

which the weight of the rigid body acts. If we apply
a force directly opposing the force of gravity at this
point, we can balance the object.
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Experiment 6

## Finding the Center of Gravity

l Slide the metal clamp on to the meter stick near the middle.
l Place the meter stick on the pivot stand using the pivot clamp located
near the center.
l Adjust the position of the pivot clamp on the meter stick until the meter
stick is balanced and level. Tighten the set screw on the clamp to lock
the position.
l If the stick oscillates slowly by equal amounts on each side of the pivot,
then it is balanced.
l Take the meter stick off the stand and
measure the position of the pivot clamp on the
l Do not move the clamp for the rest of the lab.
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Experiment 6

## Center of Gravity and Weight

LW l Record the position of the center of gravity (CofG) and its uncertainty in
Table 1.

l Measure the mass of the meter stick, with clamp still attached, on a triple
LW beam balance. Record this value and its uncertainty in Table 1.

l Calculate the weight of the meter stick along with its experimental
LW
uncertainty. Record these values in Table 1.
l Note: You may assume 𝛿𝑔 = 0.
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Experiment 6

## Balancing the forces

Using a loop of string, hang a 20g mass at the 70cm mark on the meter
stick.

## Q QUESTION 1: Approximately, where would you expect to hang a 10g mass

to keep the meter stick balanced? Explain your reasoning.

Adjust the position of the 10g mass on the meter stick to balance it and 20g
mass on the pivot stand. Both masses should be suspended above the
benchtop when balanced.

Record the distance from the pivot stand to each of the 10g and 20g masses
LW
in Table 2. Show your workings.
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Experiment 6

## Balancing the forces

Q Question 2: Sketch a free body diagram of the forces acting on the meter
stick. Include the forces exerted by the 10g and 20g masses.

## Recall the expression for torque is given as:

𝜏 = 𝐹𝑙+
Where 𝜏 is the torque, 𝐹 the force, and 𝑙+ the lever arm. We will use this
definition to find the torque due to each of the masses.
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Experiment 6

## Q Question 3: Using the clamp position as the pivot point, determine

the torque (including proper sign) and its uncertainty
due to the force exerted by the:
a) 10g mass.
b) 20g mass.

Q Question 4: Are the magnitudes for each of the torques equal within
the uncertainty?

## Q Question 5: Given your answers to Questions 3 and 4, is the

second condition for static equilibrium satisfied?
Comment.
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Experiment 6

Equipment Setup

The force probe will not display the correct force in Newtons unless we
calibrate it by applying two forces of known values.
l Clamp the short aluminum rod to the long
rod screwed into the bench.
l Mount the force probe onto the short rod
as shown and tighten the thumbscrew.
The hook should be pointing straight down.
l Ensure the force probe is set to 5 N or 10 N
and not to 50 N. Plug the Force Probe
into CH 1 on the LabPro.
l Launch Logger Pro by clicking on the icon
below.

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Experiment 6

## l The Logger Pro window should contain a graph of Force vs Time. If it

does not, consult an instructor.
l The force probe needs to be calibrated before you can use it for
measurements. A 200 g mass is to be used for calibration.

## Q Question 6: What is the weight in Newtons of the 200 g mass?

Click
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Experiment 6

## Calibrating the Force Probe

l Click Calibrate Now. Do two readings:
1. With nothing hanging on the force
! probe, enter 0 in the Value box,
then click Keep.
2. Hang the 200 g mass and enter
! its weight (in Newtons) in the
Value box,
then click Keep.
l Click Done.
l Check your calibration: press Collect
with 200 g on the probe. If the weight
is not close to 1.962 N, recalibrate!
l You are now ready to collect data.
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Experiment 6

## l Remove the metal stand.

l Set up the meter stick as shown. Make sure that the force probe and
string are vertical.
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Experiment 6

## QUESTION 7: How do you know the meter stick is in static equilibrium?

Q

QUESTION 8: Draw a sketch of the meter stick and indicate the three
Q
forces (𝐹, , 𝑊, and 𝑇) acting on it. Choose the pivot point as
the contact point between the meter stick and the benchtop,
and indicate each of the lever arms of the forces. Label
them with appropriate symbols (for example, 𝑙 / ).

## Q QUESTION 9: Write down an equation (no numbers, just symbols from

Question 8) for each of the torques associated with the
forces in your diagram. Be sure to include the correct sign
based on the convention for torque.
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Experiment 6

Lever Arm

l You will now measure the lever arms for the weight 𝑙0 and the tension
𝑙/ .
l Use a set square to find the point on the lab bench directly below the
point at which the tension acts. Mark this location as precisely as
possible using a pencil mark on masking tape (do NOT mark on the
bench). Then measure 𝑙 / .
l Similarly, measure 𝑙0 .

Q QUESTION 10: Record the lever arms 𝑙 / and 𝑙0 with their experimental
uncertainties [See Making Measurements in Physics.].

𝑙0
𝑙/
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Experiment 6

## Measuring the Tension

l In Logger Pro, press Collect. It will start collecting multiple force probe
measurements for a few seconds and then stop.
l Click the statistics button, . This will give the average tension 𝑇123 ,
standard deviation, and the number count or number of measurements,
N. Place this information in Table 3.

## QUESTION 11: Calculate the experimental uncertainty (i.e. the standard

Q
error) in 𝑇123 from Table 3.

Have an instructor check your value for the tension and its
CP experimental uncertainty.
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Experiment 6

## Angled Meter Stick - Analysis

QUESTION 12: With our choice of the pivot point, the torque due to the
Q force 𝐹, exerted by the table is zero. Why?

QUESTION 13: Using the appropriate formula from Q9, calculate the torque
Q
due to the tension force 𝜏 / . Include the experimental
uncertainty in the torque.

Q QUESTION 14: Using the appropriate formula from Q9, calculate the torque
due to the weight of the meter stick 𝜏0 . Include the
experimental uncertainty in the torque.

Q QUESTION 15: Determine the sum of the torques and find the experimental
uncertainty. Is this sum equal to zero within experimental
uncertainty?
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Experiment 6

## Summary and Conclusion

You will now reflect on what this lab demonstrated about static equilibrium.

## QUESTION 16: Identify two sources of uncertainty in this experiment. Are

Q
these random or systematic?

Q QUESTION 17: Using what you have learned in this lab about static
equilibrium, calculate the force exerted by the table 𝐹,
(from the angled meter stick section of the lab).
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Experiment 6

## ✔ Close all applications and log out.

✔ Put away all lab equipment and return your
chairs/lab stools.