This is the start of a discussion that I started to put together on the physics of splitting a log.
This is how an engineer would start to describe the process of wood splitting:
The illustration below shows the effects of a wedge being driven into a log. This is merely meant as an illustration for the mathematics.
First, the illustration will be simplified so it and the math will seem less complex.
We will use μ to represent the coefficient of friction along the vector lines XB and XA between the wood being split and the soft iron of the wedge itself. This works because that is the symbol used to represent that effect in science and engineering.
The mechanical advantage in this system is XF/AB, when friction is ignored which is how vector logic allows one to do since the other factors came be treated as separate vectors and the sum of all forces along a common direction can be used. We will use the line XY to define the vector of the sum of all forces since that is the common line along which the wedge is driven.
To find the effects of friction, we need to transpose the direction of frictional forces to vector XY. This actually poses a mechanical disadvantage as it takes away from the energy delivered by the sledge or hammer…
Now to the meat of the matter:
An ordinary fellow would merely say that the mechanical advantage would be equivalent to the the length of the wedge divided by its width at the top.
I had intended to present the exact solution to this problem, but I think I have said enough to describe the complexities that can be inserted into any problem.
These complexities have entered the political arena and it is the sheer complexity can be used to describe any problem with the public unable to see what is real.
Global warming is a case in point. One party can say it is not real because it still snows in the winter. The other party can merely ask John Q. voter to go out in March (In the northern hemisphere) and see whether he needs a parka. Still one side can use its observation to refute the other side’s. Evolution, Intelligent Design and Genesis can be used to explain why human beings exist in their present state.
Enough people believe that the Bible holds all truths and can never be refuted and science takes the other case, which, in turn, makes either argument unacceptable to the other group. Science occupies the back burner more often than not because it is difficult for the average savage to grasp.
To put everything into perspective, physicists are helping to design modern combustion engines. Up to about 1965, engineers were king. Now knowledge of physical principles have entered the process. As new fuel injection and chamber design have entered the design process, engineers are needed less than scientists. In the next graduation, engineers trained in the physical design of efficient combustion engines and carbonation will enter the fray. This is like what has happened in the design of integrated circuits.
This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to present your thoughts on any topic that comes to mind.