An object in equilibrium is at rest. It is not moving (or "translating") and it is not rotating.

There are two conditions of equilibrium.

That a body is not moving (or "translating") means the sum of the forces is zero,

F = 0

That a body is not rotating means the sum of the torques is zero,

A torque is a "rotational force" or the rotational equivalent of a force,

torque = moment arm x force

The center of mass has been called "a uniquely interesting point". The center of mass is the "average position" of the mass. You may think of any extended object as a rigid, massless shell with all of its mass concentrated at the center of mass.


Return ToC, Static Equilibrium

(c) 2002, Doug Davis; all rights reserved