Resultant of forces
Fisk, Nelson S. Formerly, Department of Civil Engineering, Columbia University, New York, New York.
- Additional Readings
A system of at most a single force and a single couple whose external effects on a rigid body are identical with the effects of the several actual forces that act on the body. For analytic purposes, forces are grouped and replaced by their resultant. Forces can be added graphically (Fig. 1) or analytically. The sum of more than two vector forces can be found by extending the method of Fig. 1c to a three-dimensional vector polygon in which one force is drawn from the tip of the previous one until all are laid out. The resultant force is the force vector required to close the polygon directed from the tail of the first force vector to the tip of the last. A force system has a zero force resultant if its vector polygon closes. See also: Calculus of vectors
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