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7.4 Centre of mass, Centre of Gravity, Moment of inertia and Torque 7.4.

1 Centre of mass (COM) COM of a rigid body is the point where its entire mass can be considered to act when caalculating the
xcm = m1 x1 + m2 x 2 + ..........m n x n m1 + m2 +

m x m
i i

Example: 1.

For the system of masses shown as shown in figure below, find the centre of mass. 2.0 kg 5.0 m 3.0 kg

3.0 m

3.0 m

1.0 kg Solution: m3 =2.0 kg (0,3)

5.0 m

4.0 kg

m4=3.0 kg (5,3)

(0,0) m1=1.0 kg Centre of mass (Xcm , Ycm) =

(5,0) m2=4.0 kg

m x , m y m m
i i i i i

m x m
i i

(1)(1) + ( 4)(5) + ( 2)(0) +(3)(5) 1.0 + 4.0 + 2.0 + 3.0

0 + 20 + 0 + 15 10

m y m
i i

= 3.5 cm

(1)(0) + ( 4)(0) + ( 2)(3) +(3)(3) 1.0 + 4.0 + 2.0 + 3.0

0 +0 +6+9 10

= 1.5 cm Centre of mass = (3.5,1.5)

Centre of mass 1.5 cm 3.5 cm


Centre of gravity (COG) COG of a rigid body is the point where the entire weight can be considered to act.
x cg = m1 gx1 + m 2 gx 2 + ..........m n gx n ( m1 + m2 + ........m n ) g

(mi xi ) g (mi ) g

m x m
i i

For a regular-shaped object the centre of mass is the centre of gravity. 7.4.3 Moment Inertia Moment inertia of a body is the sum of the moments inertia of each individual element of the body.

= m1 r1 + m 2 r2 + rn I = mi ri
i =1 n 2

which is

I = moment inertia m = mass of the element r = perpendicular radial distance of each particle from the axis of rotation.

Common Moments of Inertia

Example: Two particles of mass 5.0 kg and 7.0 kg are mounted 4.0 m apart on a light rod (whose mass is negligible). Calculate the moment of inertia of the system a) when rotated about an axis passing halfway between the masses. b) when the system rotates about an axis located 0.5 m to the left of the 5.0 kg mass. Solution: a) Both particles are the same distance 2.0 m, for the axis of rotation.
mr 2 I= = ( 5.0)(2.0)2 + (7.0)(2.0)2 = 48 kg m2 The 5.0 kg mass is now 0.5 m from the axis and the 7.0 kg mass is 4.50 m from the axis. Then
mr 2 I= = (5.0)(0.5)2 + (7.0)(4.5)2 = 1.3 + 142 = 143.3 kg m2




Torque is a measure of how much a force acting on an object causes that object to rotate. The object rotates about an axis called pivot point. The distance from the pivot point to the point where theforce acts is called the moment art, and is denoted by r. Torque is defined as
= r x F = rF sin

Imagine a force F acting on some object at a distance r from its axis of rotation. We can break up the force into tangential (Ftan), radial (Frad) (see Figure 1). (This is assuming a twodimensional scenario. For three dimensions -- a more realistic, but also more complicated situation -- we have three components of force: the tangential component Ftan, the radial component Frad and the z-component Fz. All components of force are mutually perpendicular, or normal.) From Newton's Second Law, Ftan = m atan However, we know that angular acceleration, , and the tangential acceleration atan are related by: atan = r Then, Ftan = m r If we multiply both sides by r (the moment arm), the equation becomes Ftan r = m r 2 Note that the radial component of the force goes through the axis of rotation, and so has no contribution to torque. The left hand side of the equation is torque. For a whole object, there may be many torques. So the sum of the torques is equal to the moment of inertia (of a particle mass, Figure 2 Radial, Tangential and zComponents of Force, three dimensions Figure 1 Radial and Tangential Components of Force, two dimensions

which is the assumption in this derivation), I = m r2 multiplied by the angular acceleration, .

If we make an analogy between translational and rotational motion, then this relation between torque and angular acceleration is analogous to the Newton's Second Law. Namely, taking torque to be analogous to force, moment of inertia analogous to mass, and angular acceleration analogous to acceleration, then we have an equation very much like the Second Law. Example A cable is wrapped around a uniform, solid cylinder of radius 'R' and mass 'M'. The cylinder rotates about its axis, and the cable unwinds without stretching or pulling. If the cable is pulled with a force of 'F' Newtons, what is its acceleration? Hints What is the moment of inertia for a uniform, solid cylinder, with the axis through its center? What is the torque exerted? What is the relationship between acceleration of the cable, a, and the angular acceleration, ? Solution Drawing a diagram will aid us in solving this problem; refer to Figure 1. For a uniform, solid cylinder of radius R and mass M, the moment of inertia is:

The torque exerted by a force F is found to be: =RF since the force is perpendicular to the moment arm. (That is, = 90o, so sin(90)=1.) We also learned in this section that =I Solving for , we get:

Figure 1 Diagram of the cable unwinding from a cylinder.