Equilibrium and Elasticity

Equilibrium and Elasticity

Rock climbing may be the ultimate physics exam. Failure can mean death, and even partial credit can mean severe injury. For example, in a long chimney climb, in which your torso is pressed against one wall of a wide vertical fissure and your feet are pressed against the opposite wall you need to rest occasionally or you will fall due to exhaustion. Here the exam consists of a single question: What can you do to relax your push on the walls in order to rest? If you relax without considering the physics, the walls will not hold you up.

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