So the last piece I need for figuring out whether it’s easier to tip a box over by pushing on the middle of an edge or along one corner is to know the amount of torque applied by pushing with, presumably, the same force in both locations. Well, that’s almost the last bit. I also need to know how the torque and the moment of inertia connect together to say how fast an angular acceleration I can give the box.
I’m surprised my father let me get away with it. I assume that he was just being courteous and letting me get to my next points in studying whether a box is easier to tip over by pushing from the center of one of its edges or by pushing from its corner. Or he’s figured it’s too much bother to write a response; he’s been living his computer life on an iPod for a long while now and I can’t figure how he types at any length on that.
I admit not being perfectly satisfied with my answer, about whether a box is easier to tip over by pushing on the middle of one of its top edges or by pushing on its corner, just by looking at it from the energy both approaches need to raise the box’s center of mass above the pivot. It’s straightforward enough, but I don’t do this sort of calculation often, so maybe I’m looking at the wrong things. Can I find another, independent, line of argument? If I can, does that get to the same answer? If it does, good. If it doesn’t, then I get to wonder which line of argument I believe in more. So here’s one.