Have you ever looked over an engineer's
structural calculations and felt
like they were written in a foreign language?
The purpose of this article is to
try to make a little sense of the terms
and symbols engineers use.
This is a way of describing a force
acting at a distance. A teeter-totter is
a good example (see Figure 1). Let's
assume that the seats are 14 feet apart
and the hinge point is fixed at the
middle of the board, 7 feet from each
seat. You (the 160-pound adult) put
your child (40 pounds) on the seat
that is resting in the gravel, then
walk to the other end to get on.
Will the teeter-totter