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Episode 200: Preparation for statics topic
This topic builds up an understanding of the conditions needed for an object to be in equilibrium. The first episode develops ideas about vector and scalar quantities; these are equally relevant to quantities other than forces.

Looking ahead
It will be useful in this topic if you can draw and/or project force diagrams, so the whole class can see them, showing forces to scale.


Main aims
Students will:

  • Understand the terms vector and scalar
  • Understand and use the principle of vector addition and subtraction
  • Understand resolution of vector values into components at right angles
  • Understand the principles of static equilibrium
  • Apply the principles of static equilibrium in a range of situations
  • Understand the use of moments in equilibrium situations
  • Calculate values of moments (turning effects)
  • Solve numerical problems using the principle of equilibrium
Force diagram

Prior knowledge
Students should have an understanding of velocity and force. They are likely to know that these are vector quantities, but they are unlikely to know how to combine vectors.

They will also be familiar with moments and simple ideas of balancing forces and moments.

Where this leads
Skills of adding and resolving vectors will be useful in a great range of future situations.

Students will have many opportunities in the future to use the principle of equilibrium in many different circumstances, so a solid foundation is vital.

Download Word version of Episode 200 (28 KB)


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