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ERIC Number: EJ896406
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0143-0807
Non-Uniqueness of the Point of Application of the Buoyancy Force
Kliava, Janis; Megel, Jacques
European Journal of Physics, v31 n4 p741-762 Jul 2010
Even though the buoyancy force (also known as the Archimedes force) has always been an important topic of academic studies in physics, its point of application has not been explicitly identified yet. We present a quantitative approach to this problem based on the concept of the hydrostatic energy, considered here for a general shape of the cross-section of a floating body and for an arbitrary angle of heel. We show that the location of the point of application of the buoyancy force essentially depends (i) on the type of motion experienced by the floating body and (ii) on the definition of this point. In a rolling/pitching motion, considerations involving the rotational moment lead to a particular "dynamical" point of application of the buoyancy force, and for some simple shapes of the floating body this point coincides with the well-known metacentre. On the other hand, from the work-energy relation it follows that in the rolling/pitching motion the "energetical" point of application of this force is rigidly connected to the centre of buoyancy; in contrast, in a vertical translation this point is rigidly connected to the centre of gravity of the body. Finally, we consider the location of the characteristic points of the floating bodies for some particular shapes of immersed cross-sections. The paper is intended for higher education level physics teachers and students. (Contains 3 footnotes, 1 table, and 13 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A