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# M2 Mechanics question

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1. What does freely hinged mean? Does it mean it always have 2 reactions x and y?
2. (Original post by Bealzibub)
What does freely hinged mean? Does it mean it always have 2 reactions x and y?
"Freely hinged" means that the rigid body is being held in place from a certain point. Imagine the following example: a sheet of paper (lamina) is held in place from its corner by a pin. Here, the pin is acting as the hinge and if the hinge were not exerting a reaction force on the lamina, the lamina would just fall down due to its weight.

A hinge exerts one reaction force, but for the sake of simplicity we break this reaction force into its constituent horizontal and vertical components X and Y.

You will often find a later part of a moments question to "find the magnitude and direction of the reaction force". This is basically using Pythagoras' theorem on X and Y and finding the angle at which the reaction force acts and its magnitude.

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