Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
College Physics for AP® Courses

Test Prep for AP® Courses

College Physics for AP® CoursesTest Prep for AP® Courses

9.2 The Second Condition for Equilibrium


Which of the following is not an example of an object undergoing a torque?

  1. A car is rounding a bend at a constant speed.
  2. A merry-go-round increases from rest to a constant rotational speed.
  3. A pendulum swings back and forth.
  4. A bowling ball rolls down a bowling alley.

Five forces of equal magnitude, labeled AE, are applied to the object shown below. If the object is anchored at point P, which force will provide the greatest torque?

The diagram shows a gray that is a rounded shape of a shoe. Slightly to the right of center is a black dot labeled P. There are 5 red arrows nearly perpendicular to the curved line representing the edge of the object. Arrow A is pointing straight down toward where the line curves around the top. Arrow B is a horizontal line pointing away from the object as the edge curves slightly in an almost vertical line. Arrow C is pointing directly below the P from the edge down. At this point the object begins to curve up from the horizontal. Arrow D is pointing toward straight up toward the object's edge where the object is curving upward more than point C. Arrow E is pointing toward the left edge at around a 45 degree angle toward the object and is approximately perpendicular to the object again.
Figure 9.46 Five forces acting on an object.
  1. Force A
  2. Force B
  3. Force C
  4. Force D
  5. Force E

9.3 Stability


Using the concept of torque, explain why a traffic cone placed on its base is in stable equilibrium, while a traffic cone placed on its tip is in unstable equilibrium.

9.4 Applications of Statics, Including Problem-Solving Strategies


A child sits on the end of a playground see-saw. Which of the following values is the most appropriate estimate of the torque created by the child?

  1. 6 N•m
  2. 60 N•m
  3. 600 N•m
  4. 6000 N•m

A group of students is stacking a set of identical books, each one overhanging the one below it by 1 inch. They would like to estimate how many books they could place on top of each other before the stack tipped. What information below would they need to know to make this calculation?

Three rectangles with thick blue borders on the bottom, left, and right side and a think black slightly indented line of the right indicate three books. There are two short black vertical lines going down on the left and right of the bottom book with a double-headed black arrow and the label Width below. On the left side of the bottom book are two short horizontal lines with a black vertical double-headed short arrow labeled Depth. The three books are stacked with the second book offset to the right and the third offset even more to the right on the second book. The edge of the second book is marked with a double-headed arrow marked 1” between a vertical line above the left edge of the bottom book and a vertical line above the left edge of the second book.
Figure 9.47 3 overlapping stacked books.
  1. The mass of each book
  2. The width of each book
  3. The depth of each book
  1. I only
  2. I and II only
  3. I and III only
  4. II only
  5. I, II, and III

A 10 N board of uniform density is 5 meters long. It is supported on the left by a string bearing a 3 N upward force. In order to prevent the string from breaking, a person must place an upward force of 7 N at a position along the bottom surface of the board. At what distance from its left edge would they need to place this force in order for the board to be in static equilibrium?

  1. 3 7 3 7 m
  2. 5 2 5 2 m
  3. 25 7 25 7 m
  4. 30 7 30 7 m
  5. 5 m

A bridge is supported by two piers located 20 meters apart. Both the left and right piers provide an upward force on the bridge, labeled FL and FR respectively.

  1. If a 1000 kg car comes to rest at a point 5 meters from the left pier, how much force will the bridge provide to the left and right piers?
  2. How will FL and FR change as the car drives to the right side of the bridge?

An object of unknown mass is provided to a student. Without using a scale, design an experimental procedure detailing how the magnitude of this mass could be experimentally found. Your explanation must include the concept of torque and all steps should be provided in an orderly sequence. You may include a labeled diagram of your setup to help in your description. Include enough detail so that another student could carry out your procedure.

9.5 Simple Machines


As a young student, you likely learned that simple machines are capable of increasing the ability to lift and move objects. Now, as an educated AP Physics student, you are aware that this capability is governed by the relationship between force and torque.

In the space below, explain why torque is integral to the increase in force created by a simple machine. You may use an example or diagram to assist in your explanation. Be sure to cite the mechanical advantage in your explanation as well.


Figure 9.24(a) shows a wheelbarrow being lifted by an applied force Fi. If the wheelbarrow is filled with twenty bricks massing 3 kg each, estimate the value of the applied force Fi. Provide an explanation behind the total weight w and any reasoning toward your final answer. Additionally, provide a range of values over which you feel the force could exist.

9.6 Forces and Torques in Muscles and Joints


When you use your hand to raise a 20 lb dumbbell in a curling motion, the force on your bicep muscle is not equal to 20 lb.

  1. Compare the size of the force placed on your bicep muscle to the force of the 20 lb dumbbell lifted by your hand. Using the concept of torque, which force is greater and explain why the two forces are not identical.
  2. Does the force placed on your bicep muscle change as you curl the weight closer toward your body? (In other words, is the force on your muscle different when your forearm is 90° to your upper arm than when it is 45° to your upper arm?) Explain your answer using torque.
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


This book may not be used in the training of large language models or otherwise be ingested into large language models or generative AI offerings without OpenStax's permission.

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Mar 3, 2022 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.