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Lesson Plan: Equilibrium of a Rigid Body Mathematics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to solve problems about the equilibrium of rigid bodies in 2D where the sum of forces and the sum of moments equal zero.


Students will be able to

  • understand that a system in static equilibrium can be solved by equating clockwise and counterclockwise moments, along with horizontal and vertical forces,
  • solve problems involving bodies in static equilibrium, including calculating unknown forces, moments, and masses,
  • solve static equilibrium problems involving bodies (e.g., ladders) placed on a rough surface,
  • calculate unknown lengths and angles for bodies in static equilibrium,
  • solve problems involving attached and freely rotating bodies in static equilibrium.


Students should already be familiar with

  • moments,
  • friction and the coefficient of friction,
  • equilibrium of a rigid body under parallel forces.


Students will not cover

  • equilibrium of a system involving two or more couples,
  • forces expressed as vectors.

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