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# Topic 5 Turning Effect of Forces

Syllabus

(1) Moments

## (2) Centre of gravity

(3) Stability
Topic 5 Turning Effect of Forces

## (a) Describe the moment of a force in terms of its

turning effect and relate this to everyday
examples

## (b) Recall and apply the relationship moment of

force (or torque) = force x perpendicular
distance from the pivot to new situations or to
solve related problems

equilibrium

## (d) apply the principle of moments to new

situations or to solve related problems
Topic 5 Turning Effect of Forces

## (e) Show understanding that the weight of a body

may be taken as acting at a single point known
as its centre of gravity

## (f) Describe qualitatively the effect of the position

of the centre of gravity on the stability of
objects
Unit 5.1 Moments

Learning Outcomes:

## describe the moment of a force and relate

this to everyday examples

## define and apply moment of a force = force

x perpendicular distance from the pivot
Unit 5.1: Moments

## Fig 5.1 Why does the boy

require more effort to pull
the doorknob when the
doorknob is near the
hinge than when it is near
the edge of the door?
Unit 5.1: Moments
Definition:
The moment of a force (or torque) is the product of
the force and the perpendicular distance from the
pivot to the line of action of the force.

## Fig 5.2 A simple diagram that show the effect of pulling a

door open.
Unit 5.1: Moments

Moment of a force = F x d

## where F = force (in N)

d = perpendicular distance from pivot (in m)

m)

direction.

## Its direction is either clockwise or anti-clockwise.

Unit 5.1: Moments

## Fig 5.4 The moment of a force can be clockwise or

anticlockwise.
Unit 5.1 Moments
Worked Example 5.1
Unit 5.1 Moments
Key Ideas
Unit 5.1: Test Yourself
State two common real-life examples of the turning effect of a
force.

than a coin?

## The spoon has a longer length than a coin. By applying the

force at the end of the spoon, the turning moment is greater.
Unit 5.2 Principle of Moments

Learning Outcome

## state and apply the principle of moments for a body

in equilibrium
Unit 5.2: Principle of Moments
Why does a beam balance measure mass?
(Recall Unit 4)

Fig 5.6 A simple diagram showing the forces acting on an equal-arm beam
balance.
5.2 Principle of Moments

## Fig 5.6 A simple diagram showing the forces acting on an

equal-arm beam balance.
Unit 5.2: Principle of Moments

## The Principle of Moments states:

When a body is in equilibrium, the sum of clockwise
moments about a pivot is equal to the sum of
anticlockwise moments about the same pivot.
5.2 Principle of Moments
5.2 Principle of Moments
Experiment 5.1 (continued)
5.2 Principle of Moment

## All forces acting on it are balanced. i.e. the

resultant force is zero.

## The resultant moment about the pivot is zero.

i.e. The Principle of Moment must apply.
5.2 Principle of Moments
Worked Example 5.2

Figure 5.9
5.2 Principle of Moments
Worked Example 5.3
5.2 Principle of Moments
Levers
Levers are simple machines that make use of the
principle of moments. When apply a force at one
end of the lever, a load may be lifted at the other
end.

Fig 5.14
Simple
levers.
5.2 Principle of Moments
Key Ideas
5.2: Principle of Moments
Test Yourself 5.2

## State the Principle of Moments. Discuss how this principle

may be used to balance a see-saw by two persons of different
weight.

## When a body is in equilibrium, the sum of clockwise moments

about a pivot is equal to the sum of anticlockwise moments

The heavier person has to sit nearer to the pivot, while the
lighter person has to sit further away from the pivot. In this
way, the moments of the two persons can be equal and the
see-saw can be balanced.
5.2 Principle of Moments
Test Yourself 5.2
David and his father sat at the ends of a see-saw, 2 m from
the pivot as shown in figure 5.15. Where should David’s
mother sit in order to balance the see-saw?

Fig 5.15
Balancing the
see-saw.

Let the d = dist between mother and the pivot.
For equilibrium,
Anticlockwise moments = clockwise moment
400 x 2 + 600 x d = 700 x 2
 d = 1m
5.3 Centre of Gravity

Learning Outcome

## Understand the centre of gravity of a body as the

point through which its weight appears to act.
5.3 Centre of Gravity
Try balancing a meter rule with your index finger.
At which mark did you observe the ruler does the
ruler balance?
5.3 Centre of Gravity
Why does a uniform metre rule balance only
at the 50 cm mark?
5.3 Centre of Gravity

## The centre of gravity of an object is

defined as the point through which its
whole weight appears to act for any
orientation of the object.
5.3 Centre of Gravity
Centre of Gravity of some regular shaped objects.

## Fig 5.18 Centre of gravity of regular-shaped

objects.
5.3 Centre of Gravity
How to find the centre of gravity of an object?

Fig 5.19 A piece of thin lamina that is suspended at various positions will
come to rest with its weight acting directly downward as indicated by a
plumb line. Where do you think the centre of gravity is?
Unit 5.3: Centre of Gravity
How to find the centre of gravity of an object?

Fig 5.20. Locating the centre of gravity of a lamina by the plumb line
method. Note that two lines are sufficient. The third line serves as a
check.
5.3 Centre of Gravity
Experiment 5.2
Fig 5.22

Fig 5.23
5.4 Stability

Learning Outcome

## Describe the stability of an object in terms of the

position of its centre of gravity
Unit 5.4: Stability

Definition:
its original position after it has been tilted slightly.
5.4 Stability
Stable Equilibrium

## The centre of gravity rises

and then falls back again.

## The line of action of its

weight W lies inside the
base area of the cone.

The anticlockwise
moment of its weight W Fig 5.27(a). Stable
about the point of contact Equilibrium.
C cause the cone to return
to its original position.
5.4 Stability

Unstable Equilibrium

## The centre of gravity

falls and continues to
fall further.

## The line of action of its

weight W lies outside
the base area of the
cone.
The clockwise moment
of its weight W about Fig 5.27(b).
the point of contact C Unstable Equilibrium.
causes the toppling.
5.4 Stability
Neutral Equilibrium

## The centre of gravity

neither rises nor falls; it
remains at the same level
above the surface
supporting it.

## The lines of action of the

two forces always coincide.

There is no moment
Fig 5.27(c).
provided but its weight W Neutral Equilibrium.
about the point of contact C
to turn the paper cone.
5.4 Stability
Hence, to increase stability of object,
Centre of gravity is as low as possible.
The area of its base is as wide as possible.

## Fig 5.28. The more stable a car, the faster it can go

round turns without overturning. Hence, all racing
cars have a very low wide base and a low centre of
gravity.
Worked Example 5.4
Worked Example 5.4
Worked Example 5.5
Worked Example 5.6
5.3 – 5.4 Centre of Gravity and
Stability
5.3 - 5.4: Centre of Gravity and
Stability
Test Yourself 5.3-5.4

## Is the centre of gravity of an object the same

whether it is placed near the surface of the Earth
or near the surface of the Moon?

## If we place the object in a uniform gravitational

field then the centre of gravity remains the same
point.

## On the surface of Earth and on the surface of the

Moon, the gravitational field is relatively uniform.
Hence, the centre of gravity remains the same
point on Earth and on the Moon.
5.3-5.4 Centre of Gravity and Stability

## Flat-dwellers in Singapore usually hang their laundry out on

bamboo poles. These bamboo poles have to be lifted out of
the window and stuck into specially build holes. With wet
laundry on it, a lot of effort may be needed to lift the pole up
at one end. What advice can you give to reduce the required
effort? You may wish to consider

The turning effects of the weight of the pole and the wet
laundry.

## How the distribution of the weight of the wet garments

affects the position of the centre of gravity of the pole and
wet laundry system.
5.3-5.4 Centre of Gravity and Stability

## Place the heavier clothes nearer the end of the

pole where the hand is.
5.3 - 5.4 Centre of Gravity and
Stability
Test Yourself 5.3-5.4

## Is it wise to load the roof rack of an empty minibus

too heavy?
When the roof of the minibus is loaded, this would
then to increase the centre of gravity of the
minibus. This might lead to the minibus being
easily overturned.

## What are the features we need to consider in the

design of a stable table lamp?

## The table lamp is designed with a heavy and wide

base. If possible, it should not be too tall.