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Center Of Mass

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Center Of Mass

Jack Holman

- Mass is the amount of stuff something has, in any state if matter the mass is the same. Mass is different to weight, which depends on the local gravitational field.
- So my mass may be 70kg, but my weight is that times the gravitational field strength of the earth, which is around 9.8m/s squared, thus my weight is actually around 686 Newton's. Two very different things.

- The center of mass is the point in an object where you could say all the mass is concentrated, a mean point of mass.
- In symmetrical shapes, such as a circle, you can use lines of symmetry to determine the center of mass.
- So here the center of mass is where the lines cross, which is the middle

- Non symmetrical 2D shapes are slightly harder when finding the center of mass.

2D object

Suspend the object from a point, and then hang a weight from that point on some string, and then draw down that line

Repeat with another side and the crossing of those two lines is the center of mass

- You could suspend the object from a point, and where it settles if you drilled a straight line down that would be the center of mass of the object
- Except this isn't really feasible as it would alter the center of mass in most situations, but if you drilled from two or three different points 120 degrees apart you would find the center
- Further than this I don’t know and cant find anything on at all

- For example if you wanted to push someone over, it would be easier when they are standing up, because less force is required to unbalance that person
- Whereas, if that person was sitting down, more force would be required to push them over, because they have a lower center of mass
- Other objects such as cars are designed with a low center of mass so they are easier to corner at high speeds and not overturn, thus why formula one cars are low and not designed like to be as tall as lorries
- So center of mass has an affect on the forces that are applied to objects, whether it be humans or cars

- This is the same ONLY in uniform gravitational fields as center of mass, so in other words most of the time there the same thing
- If you were for example in an orbit of a binary star system things would be different and there it would be completely different thing to center of mass
- But mostly they are the same kind of thing