Aims Subject

Chapter 4: Rigid bodies (III)



Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed Open Course Wares (OCW) where you can follow a “Classical Mechanics course” by Internet.

One of the most important magnitudes in architecture is the moment of a force or torque. And this magnitude will be extremely important in Chapter 5: Equilibrium.

Linear momentum, i.e. p = m·v, has a rotational analogue that it is called angular momentum, L. For a symmetrical object rotating about a fixed axis through the centre of mass (CM), the angular momentum is L = I·ω where I is the moment of inertia and ω is the angular velocity about the axis of rotation. The SI units for L are kg·m^2/s, which has no special name.

We saw in Chapter 2: Dynamics laws and applications that Newton’s second law can be written more generally in terms of momentum ΣF = Δp/Δt. In a similar way, the rotational equivalent of Newton’s second law which is Στ = I·α, can also be written more generally in terms of angular momentum Στ = ΔL/Δt where Στ is the net torque acting to rotate the object and ΔL is the change in angular momentum in a interval time Δt.

Angular momentum is an important concept in physics because, under certain conditions, it is a conserved quantity. If Στ = ΔL/Δt on an object is zero then ΔL = 0, so L does not change. This is the law of conservation of angular momentum for a rotating object:

The total angular momentum of a rotating object remains constant if the net torque acting on it is zero.

  • A video tutorial about rotation can be watched on the MIT-OCW webpage:

  • A video tutorial about the moment of a force/torque can be watched on the MIT-OCW webpage:

  • A video tutorial about rotational dynamics can be watched on the MIT-OCW webpage:

  • A video tutorial about solved problems can be watched on the MIT-OCW webpages:

Worked example: moment-of-inertia-of-a-disc-from-a-falling-mass

Worked example: massive-pulley-problems

MisConceptual Questions

  1. The symmetric simple truss is loaded as shown in Figure. Which force shown exerts the largest magnitude torque on the truss around point A? And around point B?
  2. Calculate the net torque around point O due to the forces acting on the plate shown.

Video lecture: Rotational dynamic example

Problem set number 5

  1. A wheel of radius r = 80 cm has moment of inertia 10 kg·m^2. It is rotating around its central axis propelled by a rocket attached to a point on its outer rim. The rocket is expelling gas
    tangentially to the wheel, resulting in a constant force. Determine:

    1. The magnitude of the equivalent force, if we know that the wheel, starting from rest, reaches an angular speed of 1 rev/s in 6 s.
    2. The value of both tangential and normal acceleration in a point on the outer rim of the wheel.
    3. The angle that the total acceleration forms with the radius at that point.
    4. The time that the wheel takes to reach the same angular velocity, under the action of the same force, if we add a very thin ring of mass 5 kg around the outer rim.

If you have some doubts, you can watch next video related to rotational dynamic (Professor Michel van Biezen):

If you were satisfied with this example, you can check more video lectures on the webpage:

Aims laboratory Subject

Practise 3: Moment of inertia of plane surfaces

Please, first of all review following materials you can download by UACloud:

  1. presentations AP1_chap00, AP2_chap01 and
  2. template where you can check how to write laboratory reports “Sample_Physics_Lab_Report”.

You should finish second practise related to “Hooke’s law” and submit it as soon as possible by “Evaluation tools“.


NOTE: I will upload practise guide today (in Spanish).

  1. AIMS:
    1. Build any irregular shape surface which value of the moment of inertia with respect an axis (X or Y) is known.
    2. Determine its centre of gravity experimentally.
    3. Write your lab report explaining all processes you did, results in tables and calculations.
    1. The moment of inertia (with respect rectangular axis X or Y through one side) should be I = 0.010 kg/m^2 with an uncertainty of 10%.
    2. Area should be composite by three regular areas at least, but not equals, i.e. a rectangle, a triangle and a semicircle but not two triangles and a rectangle.
    3. Moreover, an empty area will be required in the composite figure (here you can repeat previous shapes).
  3. EXAMPLES:NOTE: You can do it by group of two people and take into account you must not present the same area, i.e. exactly the same measurements or shapes.


Aims Subject

Chapter 4. Rigid bodies (II)




Aims Subject

Chapter 4. Rigid bodies (I)

Chapter 4. Rigid bodies (I)

  • Centre of gravity
Aims laboratory Subject

The laboratory report

This entry help you to prepare laboratory reports for all general science and engineering at PUC-EPS-UA. It describes the structure of a good laboratory report, outlines the different sections of the report, and explains the need for each of them. It also introduces some standard conventions and rules for writing reports of professional quality.

Laboratory reports will be graded not only for technical content but also for writing and style. The quality of your written report will strongly affect your grade for the course. Students are required to follow the general rules in this entry and the specific format instructions given to them by their laboratory instructor.

You can read a complete guide to laboratory report writing here or here (see below a copy) and an example here. Just you need to adapt this rules to our course.

General Outline of a Laboratory Report

Scientific writing is just as important as scientific investigation or experimenting. Although the major part of scientific investigation takes place in the laboratory–connecting equipment together, repairing, obtaining supplies and samples, checking each apparatus for consistency, calibration, and finally data collection by running the experiment—a great deal of time is spent to present the results in a concise, objective, critical and conclusive format called laboratory report (similar to research paper). Therefore, a well-organized laboratory report is much more effective and influential than one without a structure. There is no short list of instructions for writing a good laboratory report. You may have only one chance to influence your reader. While ineffective writing can turn off the readers, a well-written laboratory report can have impacts on your reputation, chance of employment or promotion. You may also draw the attention of the scientific community to your work and retain them as your readers.

Sections of a laboratory report:

A laboratory report usually have several sections identified by titles. A typical report would include such sections as TITLE, INTRODUCTION, PROCEDURE, RESULTS, and DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION. If you are using a computer to type your work, section headings should be in boldface.


The title can usually draw attention of the reader to your work. It should clearly represent the work presented. If the purpose of the experiment is to measure the gravitational acceleration of the earth using pendulum as the experimental apparatus, the title should be like “ Measurement of the Gravitational Acceleration Using Simple Pendulum”. Avoid “The” as the first word in the title for it will lead to misleading searches when one uses the database.


State the purpose of the experiment in general terms. For example, “ It is possible to measure the gravitational acceleration using the oscillations of a simple pendulum.”

Review the existing information or the theory. Reader will look for some reminder of the basic information relating to this particular area. This can be done by giving him/her a brief summary of the existing state of knowledge. We can also include a summary of earlier work with proper references.

Supply a paragraph or two about how the basic information, such as an equation representing the behavior of a model (theory), can be used to make measurements.


Indicate what parameter or properties of the system you are measuring. Usually you change a parameter of the system (such as changing the temperature, independent variable), and measure its effect (such as the length of a metal rod, dependent variable).

Specify such measurement details as the type of standard or instrument used to make the measurement (for example, meter stick or vernier calliper, etc). Give the instrument uncertainties. For example, if we are using a meter stick, we can say, “ the length of the rod is measured using a laboratory meter stick accurate to within 1 cm. You may also give, if necessary, an apparatus diagram.


  • Provide tables showing your measurement with units.
  • Describe the uncertainties: standard, instrument, random errors
  • Provide graphs. Graphs should be neat, clear, and include the axis label and units.
  • Computation of the final answer: slope calculation, averages, and standard deviations all in proper significant figures.


  • Present your findings from the experiment.
  • Evaluate the outcome objectively, taking a candid and unbiased point of view. Suppose that the outcome is not close to what you expected. Even then, after checking your results, give reasons why you believe that outcome is not consistent with the expected. Make it plain, simple. Make factual statements such as “graph 1 shows a linear variation of velocity with time”.
  • State the discrepancies between the experimental results and the model (theory), and discuss the sources of the differences in terms of the errors by offering logical inferences.
  • Suggest improvements

Although these do not make an exhaustive list of do’s or don’ts, they nevertheless offer a framework around which one can write an effective report. In our experiment, some of the items indicated under each section may not be needed. I will give you more feedback in class. I expect that, the lab reports, either typed or handwritten, should be neat, clear, and organized. Points will be deducted for these, as well as for missing units and failing to follow the outline (i.e. title, introduction, procedure, results, conclusion) given above.

Aims Subject

Physics laboratory tutorial

We can say that physics is the science of the measure. Unfortunately, this means we have to learn the error analysis treatment of our data. You can download all the documents from our campus virtual at University of Alicante (in Spanish or Catalan/Valencian). Nevertheless, it could be interesting to read the Physics Laboratory Tutorial from the Columbia University as well.

We did video laboratory experiments in physics (in Spanish) you can watch by this link.

web_experiencias1or watching this YouTube channel at University of Alicante link (in Spanish too).

Aims Subject

Chapter 10. Multi-member structures: trusses


10.1 Plane trusses. Introduction.

10.2 Assumptions made in truss analysis.

10.3 Isostatic and hyperstatic systems.

10.4 Method of joints.

10.5 Method of Maxwell-Cremona.

10.6 Method of Ritter or sections.

You should learn to solve any plane truss after the theoretical lectures, the problem sessions and the homework you did during this part of the subject.

Chapter 3 from krishn_desai

Trusses from Amr Hamed

Maxwell diagram lec from Carlo Mendoza
Aims Subject

Welcome to the PhFS

Welcome to the course blog of Physics I: Fundamentals of Structures which is a subject of the degree in Technical Architecture. We assume in this course you have taken mathematics and physics before you are starting this course. However, we will not assume that you remember everything you did previously, so do not panic!!!! We will begin with a very brief review of magnitudes, the International System of Units (SI), and vectors. There are two extremely important vectorial magnitudes in your degree, the force and the moment of a force.

We highly recommend to download the course material from this link. Unfortunately, its were written in Catalan/Valencian, but we will try to update this material to English during this semester. All documents are in acrobat format and you can find slides for theoretical classes, exercises both proposed and solved, slides for laboratory sessions, and so on.

The best way to learn physics is solving problems and asking for doubts or understanding physics concepts. We wrote two books about this topic, i.e. problems solved in detail, but the format is prepared to learn yourself. Therefore, we also suggest to download it from this link. You also can check the volume I in this link. Again, these books were written in Catalan/Valencian.


portada_bookprobs1TUTORIAL HOURS:

On Thursdays from 11:00 to 15:00 in my office. Feel free to ask for an appointment by Campus Virtual if the timetable is not suit to you.