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Episode 12 – Introduction to Forces

This is the first of several episodes that will be talking about materials and the forces on them.  In this episode we will be talking about Newton’s three laws of motion and specifically about Newtons 3rd law – equal and opposite reaction force.

Newton’s laws:

  1. A body at rest will remain at rest unless acted upon by an external forces.  A body in motion will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force.
  2. Force = Mass X Acceleration — The bigger the mass or the faster you want to accelerate something, the greater the force required
  3. For every force there is an equal and opposite reaction force.  — This may be the hardest one to wrap your head around, but it is the most important of the three in day-to-day use.

Later the talk will go on to discuss the 3 main types of forces structural members will experience.  The attached pictures of a Popsicle stick show these 3 forces.

In this picture I am squeezing the stick ... putting it under compression.

in this picture I am attemptiong to pull the stick apart... placing it under tension.


In this picture my thumbs are applying an upward force while my index fingers are applying a downward force causing the stick to bend.-- A bending force




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