A-level Mathematics/Edexcel/Mechanics 1/Mathematical Models in Mechanics

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Mathematical modelling is the process of translating a real world problem into the language of mathematics, allowing the problem to be solved and a solution produced. The more accurate the model can result in a more accurate solution.

Terminology[edit]

This terminology is used in modelling:

Particle[edit]

A body whose dimensions are so small compared with other lengths involved, it can be represented as a single point.

Bead[edit]

A particle with a hole through the centre, allowing it to be threaded onto a string.

Lamina[edit]

A flat object whose thickness is small, compared with its length and breadth. In a uniform lamina equal areas have equal masses.

Rigid body[edit]

An object made of particles which stay in the same position, relative to each other, regardless of the forces acting on it.

Rod[edit]

An object that only has length, and all its mass acts along a line. In a uniform rod equal lengths have equal masses. In a non-uniform rod, equal lengths do not have equal masses.

Light object[edit]

An object that is assumed to have no mass.

Inextensible String[edit]

A string that has a constant length regardless of the forces acting on it.

Smooth surface[edit]

A surface that has no frictional forces.

Peg[edit]

A support from which a body may hang or rest.