### A student has a glass coffee table in their dorm room that they want to stack some of their books on.?

A student has a glass coffee table in their dorm room that they want to stack some of their books on. However they are a little worried about how much pressure the table can withstand at any one point.

If the pile of books has a mass of 12.00 kg, a length of 27.94 cm, a width of 20.32 cm, and

a height of 30.12 cm, how much pressure (N/m2) must the table be able to withstand at any place

where the books are placed ?

BlindPoet

on November 30th, -0001

Pressure is defined as force per area. The coffee table, in order to support the books, must be able to exert an upward pressure greater than or equal to the downward pressure that the books exert on the table.

So basically this question is really asking “how much downward pressure does the stack exert on the table.”

Force = Mass x Acceleration, so the downward force of the stack on the table is the mass of the stack times the acceleration due to gravity. (1 Newton = 1Kgm/s^2)

Divide the force you calculate by the area of the stack of books (remember, this is the area contacting the table surface, not the volume), and you will have your pressure.

Remember when you do a physics problem to ALWAYS check your units. (notice that the dimensions of the stack of books are in CENTIMETERS but your asked to give the answer in newtons/METER squared).

I hope that helps, but I don’t want to just do the problem for you.

Another good answer might be that coffee tables are MADE to support books, and if this one can’t it’s a piece of junk and should probably go back to the store for a refund.

Good luck!