This weeks question is submitted by our very own Tom Reynolds a PhD students studying the dynamic performance of Timber connections who has a healthy interest in slack-lines.
The violin player hears a tearing sound and quickly sees that the cable at point A is starting to fail!! What should be do?
a) Steadily walk towards point A, to reduce the force in the line at A and get to safety.
b) Steadily walk towards point B, to reduce the force in the line at A and get to safety.
c)Stay very still so as not to induce any higher forces in the line at A, and signal to passers by to catch his violin'
Solution: Well it seems most of you went for option (c) - staying very still and throwing your expensive violin to a kind passer-by. This would be the most sensible thing to do. From a statics point of view Option (b) reduces the risk of failure as it will reduce the vertical reaction at A and hence the tension in the cable (remember the horizontal reaction at A and B must be identical from equilibrium).
Moving towards A is terrible idea!