Sunday, November 4, 2007



Heres a video that made me wonder what the initial angular acceleration of the system with the Tundra truck would be if my family's four door sedan was placed on the other side of the seesaw. Assuming the whole seesaw is 70m long then the Tundra truck would be at 25m from the fulcrum while on the otherside my family car would be 35m away from the fulcrum on the right side of the seesaw. The video states the truck is 10000 pounds (4535.9 kg) while my car is probably around 4000 pounds (1814.3 kg) and the mass of the seesaw is probably 10000 pounds (4535.9 kg).

First, inertia of the system would be needed. I = (truck)mr^2 + (car)mr^2 + IS
By substituting values for the variables and I of the seesaw is 1/2ML^2 one finds that the system's moment of inertia is equal to 6909614.2 kg*m^2.

Now net torque is found by adding the torques of the car and the truck. Which is 488990 N*m.

Σt = iα and so angular acceleration is 0.0708 rad/s^squared. Its kinda slow but it makes sense when dealing with large masses that are nearly equidistance from the fulcrum.

In the video it is clear the initial angular acceleration is much larger when only the truck is on the seesaw at a great distance from the fulcrum.

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