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# Units

All units in science are derived from seven base units. These are:

kilogram (kg), metre (m), second (s), ampere (A), mole (mol), kelvin (K) and candela (cd).

eg: Speed is calculated as distance (measured in metres) divided by time (measured in seconds). Thus speed is
measured in metres per second (ms
-1
)
Prefixes
Prefixes are used with units to make the numbers more manageable.

For example:

giga (G) means x 10
9
e.g. 1 GHz = 10
9
Hz
mega (M) means x 10
6

kilo (k) means x 10
3

milli (m) means x 10
-3
e.g. 1 mA = 10
-3
A
micro () means x 10
-6

nano (n) means x 10
-9

Vectors and Scalars
A scalar is a quantity that has magnitude (i.e. size) only - e.g. energy, distance, speed, mass, density, etc.

A vector is a quantity that has both magnitude and direction - e.g. force, displacement, velocity, etc.

Displacement, Velocity and Acceleration
Displacement s (in m) is distance in a particular direction - i.e. it is a vector.

Velocity v (in ms
-1
) is defined as rate of change of displacement.

i.e. velocity = (change in displacement)/(time taken for change)
i.e. v = As/At
REMEMBER!

Thus, it follows that v is the gradient of a graph of s against t - as shown below:

Acceleration a (in ms
-2
) is defined as rate of change of velocity.

i.e. acceleration = (change in velocity)/(time taken for change)
i.e. a = Av/At
REMEMBER!

Thus, it follows that a is the gradient of a graph of v against t - as shown below:

N.B. The area under a v-t curve is the distance travelled:

Uniform Acceleration
Uniform (i.e. constant) acceleration is an important special case. For example, the acceleration due to gravity
near the earth's surface is uniform, and is equal to 9.81 ms
-2
.

For constant acceleration, the velocity-time has a constant gradient - i.e. it is a straight line, as shown below:

Suppose also that s is the displacement after time t.

Since v increases with time, the gradient of an s - t graph increases with time, as shown below:

The following equations can be used:
v = u + at

s = ut +
1
/
2
at
2

v
2
= u
2
+ 2as

s =
1
/
2
(u + v)t

Newton's Second Law
Provided mass is constant, Newton's Second Law of Motion is effectively expressed by the equation:
F = ma
REMEMBER!

where a is the acceleration (in ms
-2
) of a body of mass m (in kg) which has a force F (in N) applied to it.

Gravitational Field Strength
Gravitational field strength g (in Nkg
-1
) is defined by the equation:
g = F/m
REMEMBER!

where F is the force (in N) on a body of mass m (in kg) in a gravitational field.

g = 9.81 Nkg
-1
near the earth's surface.

F is also known as the weight W of the body.

Therefore g = W/m
i.e: W = mg

It is a simple matter to add scalars - e.g. 1 kg + 5 kg = 6 kg.

However, with vectors, you also have to take the direction into account.

To add them, the vectors are represented as arrows drawn to scale and placed in order, end to end, as shown
below:

In the simple case shown above, the 2 vectors are at right angles - so Pythagoras' Theorem can be used:

i.e. sum
2
= 3
2
+ 4
2
= 25, therefore sum = 5 N.

The sum of 2 (or more) vectors is often called the resultant. The resultant has the same effect as the 2 vectors
put together.

The angle that the 5 N vector makes with the 3 N vector is the angle whose tan is 4/3 (i.e. 53 degrees).

If the 2 vectors are not at right angles it is possible to add them by doing a scale drawing, as shown below:

If a body is in equilibrium the sum of the forces on it must = 0. i.e. The force vectors must form a closed
triangle, as shown in the example below:

Resolving Vectors
Resolving a vector means finding 2 vectors at right angles that have the same effect as the original vector. i.e.
They must add together to give the original vector, as shown below:

F
x
= Fcosu

F
y
= Fsinu

The 2 vectors at right angles are called the components of the original vector.

The reason for doing this is that it is often easier to solve a problem using 2 vectors at right angles (e.g. vertical
and horizontal) rather than one vector which is neither vertical nor horizontal.

The example below illustrates the use of components. (The tension T has been replaced by its components.)

Since the body is in
equilibrium:

Tsinu = F
Tcosu = W

The above equations can be
used to solve the problem.

Stiffness and Hooke's Law
When a force is applied to a string, rope, wire etc it extends.

The stiffness k (in Nm
-1
) of the string, rope, wire etc is the force required to produce unit extension.
i.e: k = F/x

where F is the applied force (in N) and x is the extension (in m).

If a graph of F against x is a straight line, as shown below .....

..... the stiffness k is the gradient - and is a constant. The sample of material is then said to obey Hooke's Law.
Work

When a force F (in N) moves a body through a distance As (in m) the work done AW (in J) on the body is
given by the following equation:
AW = FAs
Sometimes the force F is not in the same direction as the displacement As, as shown in the example below:

In this case the work done is given by the formula:
where u is the angle between F and As.

AW = FAscosu
Energy
Energy (in J) is the capacity to do work. i.e. If a body has energy it can move something with a force.

There are different forms of energy - with different equations to calculate the energy in each case:

Gravitational potential energy (g.p.e.) is the energy a body has because it is in a gravitational field.

When one mass is moved further away from another mass its g.p.e. increases. In a uniform gravitational field
(such as that near the earth's surface) the increase in gravitational energy AE
grav
(in J) when a mass m (in kg)
is raised through a height Ah (in m) is given by the formula:
AE
grav
= mgAh
REMEMBER!

where g is the gravitational field strength (9.81 Nkg
-1
near the earth's surface).

Kinetic energy E
k
(in J) is the energy a body has because it is in motion.

E
k
is given by the formula:
E
k
=
1
/
2
mv
2

REMEMBER!

where m is the mass of the body (in kg) and v is its velocity (in ms
-1
).

Conservation of Energy
"Energy can change form (be transferred), but cannot be created or destroyed."

For example, when a body falls under gravity, as shown below .....

..... it loses gravitational potential energy, but gains the same amount of kinetic energy (assuming no energy is
converted to heat through air resistance).

i.e. Loss of g.p.e. = gain of k.e.

i.e. mgAh =
1
/
2
mv
2

Power
Power P (in watts W) is defined as the rate at which work is done.
i.e. P = AW/At

where AW is the work done (or energy transferred) (in J) and At is the time taken (in s).

AW = FAs (see above)

Therefore P also = FAs/At = Fv (force x velocity).

Projectiles
The key to solving projectile problems is: (1) to treat the vertical and horizontal components of the motion
separately and (2) to remember that the vertical motion is uniformly accelerated, whereas there is no
horizontal acceleration - i.e. the horizontal component of the velocity is constant.

The simplest type of situation is shown below:

Suppose we want to calculate the range - and V = 20 ms
-1
, h = 100 m and g = 9.81 ms
-2
.

Vertical motion:

u = 0 (initial vertical velocity = 0 since the projectile is initially travelling horizontally)
a = g = 9.81 ms
-2

s = 100 m
t = time of flight = ? (It is usually a good idea to calculate the time of flight.)

Use: s = ut +
1
/
2
at
2

Therefore: 100 = 0 +
1
/
2
x 9.81 x t
2

Therefore: t
2
= 100/(
1
/
2
x 9.81) = 20.39
Therefore: t = 4.52 s

N.B. This is the same as the time the projectile would have taken to drop vertically through a height of 100 m.

Horizontal motion:

Range = horizontal speed x time of flight

(There is no horizontal acceleration because there is no horizontal force - if you neglect air resistance.)

Therefore: range = 20 x 4.52 = 90.4 m

The situation shown below can be dealt with using a similar method, but you have to start by working out the
horizontal and vertical components of the projectile's initial velocity - i.e. Vcosu and Vsinu.

Suppose, again, that we want to calculate the range - and that V = 20 ms
-1
and u = 50 degrees.

Vertical motion:

u = +20sin50 = +15.32 ms
-1

a = -g = -9.81 ms
-1

s = 0 (the final vertical displacement = 0)
t = time of flight = ?

N.B. Since the initial velocity is upwards and the acceleration due to gravity is downwards, a choice about signs
had to be made. "Upwards is +ve and downwards is -ve" was chosen - but the opposite choice would have
worked just as well.

s = ut +
1
/
2
at
2

Therefore: 0 = 15.32t -
1
/
2
x 9.81 x t
2
= 15.32t - 4.905t
2

Therefore: t(15.32 - 4.905t) = 0
Therefore: either t = 0 (neglect this solution!) or 15.32 - 4.905t = 0
Therefore: t = 15.32/4.905 = 3.12 s

Horizontal motion:

Range = 20cos50 x time of flight = 12.86 x 3.12 = 40.1 m

Viscosity
Fluids with high viscosity (e.g. honey, treacle, etc) flow slowly through pipes, out of containers, etc. When a
body moves through a very viscous fluid there is a large viscous drag force. The reverse is true for fluids with
low viscosity (e.g. water, etc).

The coefficient of viscosity q of a fluid tells us how viscous it is. q can be related to the viscous drag F on a
sphere of radius r travelling at constant velocity v through the fluid, as shown below:

The formula that relates the variables is called Stokes' Law:

F = 6trqv

The units of q are Nsm
-2
.

e.g. viscosity of water ~ 1.0 x 10
-3
Nsm
-2
viscosity of air ~ 1.8 x 10
-5
Nsm
-2

The viscosities of most fluids are very sensitive to temperature:

q goes down as temperature goes up

Terminal Velocity
Consider a ball-bearing falling through a liquid. It has 3 forces acting on it, as shown below:

The weight W is a constant force. It is given by:

W = mg = density of steel x volume of sphere x g =
4
/
3
tr
3

steel
g where
steel
= density of steel

The upthrust U is also a constant force. According to Archimedes' Principle:

U = weight of fluid displaced = density of fluid x volume of sphere x g =
4
/
3
tr
3

fluid
g where
fluid
=
density of fluid

The viscous drag F, however, increases as the velocity of the sphere increases. According to Stokes' Law:

F = 6trqv

Assume the ball starts from rest at the surface of the fluid - so initially the viscous drag F = 0. Thus, provided
W > U, the ball will accelerate downwards to begin with - since there is a net downwards force. However, as
the ball accelerates, v increases - so the viscous drag F increases ..... until eventually .....

U + F becomes equal to W

At this point there is no net force on the ball - so it no longer accelerates. It has reached terminal velocity.

Substituting all the above expressions into ......

U + F = W (which is true at terminal velocity)

we get .....

4
/
3
tr
3

fluid
g + 6trqv =
4
/
3
tr
3

steel
g

An experiment can be done to measure the terminal velocity v, and the above equation can then be re-arranged
to find q.

Streamlined and Turbulent Flow
In streamlined or laminar flow the fluid does not make any abrupt changes in direction or speed. It may be
thought of as layered flow.

In turbulent flow there is chaos, mixing, eddies, etc.

Both cases are illustrated below:

Turbulence often sets in at higher flow rates or if the fluid has to flow around a shape that is not "aerodynamic"
(e.g. a block etc.). It is normally undesirable because it heats the fluid and is therefore inefficient.

Properties of Materials
Materials deform (i.e. extend or compress) when forces are applied to them.

In elastic deformation the material returns to its original dimensions when the the force is removed.

In plastic deformation the material remains stretched or compressed when the force is removed.

Most materials are elastic for small loads (forces) - but behave plastically if the force is increased beyond a
certain point. This is illustrated by the graph below, which is for a typical material (e.g. copper wire):

If the load is removed in the elastic region (0 - A), the material returns to 0 (zero extension/compression).

If the load is removed in the plastic region (between A and B), the material returns to C. i.e. It is permanently
deformed.

Ductile materials can be drawn out into long thin shapes (or wires) - e.g. chewing gum.

Malleable materials can be deformed (hammered) into a flat shape - e.g. fudge.

Ductility and malleability are both examples of plastic behaviour.

Brittle materials crack and shatter easily. They are usually stiff, and break before becoming plastic - e.g. glass.

Tough materials are not brittle. They can withstand dynamic loads (shocks). They also deform plastically (and
absorb a lot of energy) before breaking, Tough materials in the engineering sense are usually stiff as well - e.g.
Kevlar.

Stiff materials (e.g. steel) need a large force to produce a small deformation. i.e. Their stiffness k is large (see
HFS notes).

Hard materials are resistant to scratching and indentation - e.g. diamond.
Stress, Strain and Young Modulus
Consider the sample of material shown below, which is being extended by a force F .....

The tensile stress o in the material is defined as follows .....

o =F/A units of o =Nm
-2
or Pa

The tensile strain c in the material is defined as follows .....

c =Ax/l
Strain is a ratio of two lengths, and has no units.

(Compressive stress and compressive strain are defined by the same equations as those above. The only
difference is that the force arrows are pushing inwards - and Ax is a compression rather than an extension.)

N. B. The advantage of using "stress" and "strain" rather than "force" and "extension" is that a given stress on a
given material always produces the same strain in that material. However, the extension produced by a given
force is not always the same - it depends on the dimensions of the sample of material.

The strength or breaking stress of a material is the stress at which it breaks. It is a constant for a given material.

A graph of stress against strain for a typical material is shown below .....

Note that it is similar in shape to the force-extension graph in "EAT".

The limit of proportionality is the end of the straight line section. Beyond this point, stress is no longer
proportional to strain.

The elastic limit or yield point is where the material makes the transition from elastic to plastic behaviour.
Beyond the elastic limit the material no longer returns to its original dimensions when the force (or stress) is
removed.

The Young modulus E of the material is defined as follows .....

E =stress/strain =o / c units of E =Nm
-2
or Pa

Note that the Young modulus is a constant for a given material. e.g. The Young modulus of steel = 2 x 10
11

Nm
-2
. It is a measure of how stiff the material is.

(Recall that: Stiffness k =F/Ax. k is not a constant for a given material. It depends on the dimensions of the
sample.)

Since the Young modulus E = stress/strain, it follows that E is also the gradient of the straight part of a stress-
strain graph. (It is only valid up to the limit of proportionality.)

Elastic Strain Energy
The elastic strain energy AE
el
stored in a sample of material when it is stretched (or compressed) is the area
under the force-extension (or force-compression) graph, as shown below .....

If the material obeys Hooke's Law, the graph is a straight line, as shown below .....

The area then equals the area of a triangle, in which case .....

The difference at a molecular level between an unstretched and a stretched polymer (such as rubber, plastics,
etc) is shown below .....

AE
el
=FAx / 2