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September 13th, 2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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Help: Trig w/ Force Vectors Application

Our instructor sent us home with a do at home exam, and she had to very hastily fit in the last of her lecture as class ran longer, which was vectors. At this time I have a very basic and limited understanding of vectors (in terms of a geometric approach; I know nothing regarding algebraically represented vectors). As such, I am having a very difficult time setting up this problem to solve it. It's essentially just a trigonometric application problem, but with vectors & force, which is throwing me off.

If someone could help me set up the problem, and how to solve it I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks...

Word Problem: "John and his sister Kathy have attached a rope to the branch of a tree and tied a board to the other to form a swing. John sits on the board while Kathy pushes him through an angle of 23.4 degrees and holds him there. If John weighs 97.5 pounds, find the magnitude of the force Kathy must push him horizontally to keep John in static equilibrium (See Figure)."

/ 23.4 degrees
/ |
/ |
/ |
/ |
<-------------/ |
| |
| |
|-> |
|W |
| |

This is the figure that was given to help clarify the word problem if this is helpful. Sorry it is so crude looking. :O

Thanks again for the help...
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September 13th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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Re: Help: Trig w/ Force Vectors Application

Sorry that the figure didn't format on the post how I wanted it to. It as just a very basic figure provided though, so hopefully its absence won't affect anyone's ability to solve the problem.
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