Free Ads! if you are a small business with annual revenues of less than $1M - piglix.com will place your ads free of charge for up to one year! ... read more
$2,000 in free prizes! piglix.com is giving away ten (10) Meccano Erector sets, retail at $200 each, that build a motorized Ferris Wheel (or one of 22 other models) ... see details
In classical mechanics, a particle is in mechanical equilibrium if the net force on that particle is zero. By extension, a physical system made up of many parts is in mechanical equilibrium if the net force on each of its individual parts is zero.
In addition to defining mechanical equilibrium in terms of force, there are many alternative definitions for mechanical equilibrium which are all mathematically equivalent. In terms of momentum, a system is in equilibrium if the momentum of its parts is all constant. In terms of velocity, the system is in equilibrium if velocity is constant. In a rotational mechanical equilibrium the angular momentum of the object is conserved and the net torque is zero. More generally in conservative systems, equilibrium is established at a point in configuration space where the gradient of the potential energy with respect to the generalized coordinates is zero.
If a particle in equilibrium has zero velocity, that particle is in static equilibrium. Since all particles in equilibrium have constant velocity, it is always possible to find an inertial reference frame in which the particle is stationary with respect to the frame.
An important property of systems at mechanical equilibrium is their stability.
If we have a function which describes the system's potential energy, we can determine the system's equilibria using calculus. A system is in mechanical equilibrium at the critical points of the function describing the system's potential energy. We can locate these points using the fact that the derivative of the function is zero at these points. To determine whether or not the system is stable or unstable, we apply the second derivative test:
Don't forget! that as one of our early users, you are eligible to receive the 1,000 point bonus as soon as you have created five (5) acceptable piglix.