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[Phys-l] Dynamic equilibrium in mechanics


I have occasionally seen the term "dynamic equilibrium" describing situations in which the object is moving at constant velocity and the net force on the object remains zero. Furthermore, when object is at rest the equilibrium is called "static". I'm not sure, however, that there is much physical insight in this distinction since both cases include zero acceleration. Zero velocity and constant velocity have equal footing: both cases (zero net force, zero acceleration) imply an inertial frame of reference.

Any opinions whether the distinction (static vs. dynamic equilibrium) is useful in teaching mechanics? (The idea of dynamic equilibrium is, of course, useful in thermal physics and chemistry.)



Antti Savinainen, Ph.D., B.Ed.
Senior Lecturer in Physics and Mathematics
Kuopio Lyseo High School
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Website: <>

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