So the standard explanation of stable equilibrium is "when the centre of mass of a body is directly below the point of suspension or support...when a body of such orientation is displaced it will return to its original position (due to resultant torque produced)". But in the instance that such a body is displaced at such an angle that the line of action of its weight is outside its base, the body in "stable equilibrium" will have changed position, right? So how can the body be in stable equilibrium? Or is this explanation only appropriate with the provision that the displacement isn't beyond the tilting point?
P.S. consider a book that is originally flat on a table which is displaced/tilted beyond the standing position (if you're not understanding my point). THANKS!
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Need help with stable equilibrium concept watch
- Thread Starter
- 31-10-2015 18:53
- Official Rep
- 02-11-2015 04:20
Sorry you've not had any responses about this. Are you sure you’ve posted in the right place? Posting in the specific Study Help forum should help get responses.
I'm going to quote in Tank Girl now so she can move your thread to the right place if it's needed.
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- 02-11-2015 19:31
You're quoting a definition where the centre of mass is lower than the point of support and providing a counterexample (book standing on a table) where the centre of mass is higher than the point of support.
I think your book on a table is an example of a metastable system - one with several stable positions you can push it between.