Mechanical Equilibrium is a very important factor in physics and our everyday life. Newton’s First Law states that ” Mechanical equilibrium is just a different look at this law.
Mechanical Equilibrium is achieved when the net force of something is equal to zero. With the net force being zero, this allows the object to be balanced evenly and stop motion thus having no change. If the object were to be put off balanced and no longer equal zero, it would no longer maintain mechanical equilibrium and the object would continue on in which ever direction the larger force was coming from. Mechanical Equilibrium also leads to the overall equilibrium rule. The Equilibrium Rule is EF = 0.
The Equilibrium rule shows how an object or group of objects can be at rest and have their forces equal zero. In our everyday life, most of the things we do consist of maintaining mechanical equilibrium. For example, placing a backpack on a table. The force of the backpack is a combination of gravity and the weight of the backpack, In order for the backpack to stay in balanced equilibrium, there has to be another force to even out the force of the backpack. An upward force against gravity is being exerted from the table to balance out and maintain a balanced equilibrium of zero.
There are multiple types of equilibrium. Static Equilibrium is when the state of an object is at rest. Dynamic Equilibrium is when an object is steadily heading in one direction in a straight line.When in static equilibrium, all acting forces will balance to zero. This means that the object is not moving, speeding up, slowing down, or changing it’s direction. When in dynamic equilibrium, all acting forces also balance to zero. However it is at a constant motion and does not change that constant motion. For example, a ball rolling in a straight line will continue to maintain a dynamic equilibrium until it is opposed by an outside force like a wall or being picked up by someone. If you set a ball down and it stays a rest and does not roll, it is in a state of static equilibrium since the net force of the ball is at zero.
Mechanical Equilibrium and the different types of equilibrium is one of the basics of physics and is shown throughout our everyday lives. It correlates with Newton’s First Law and the Law of Inertia which states that