# Centre of Mass

We use moments to find the centre of mass of uniform plane figures and discrete mass distributions. In M1 we used moments to calculate the centre of mass for non uniform rods but in M2 we need to consider two dimensions. M1 RECAP ............................................................................................................................... 2 CENTRE OF MASS OF A SYSTEM OF PARTICLES DISTRIBUTED IN TWO DIMENSIONS ..................................................................................................................... 3 QUESTIONS 1..................................................................................................................... 6 CENTRE OF MASS OF A UNIFORM PLANE LAMINA. ......................................... 8 APPLICATION TO COMPOSITE FIGURES. .............................................................11 FRAMEWORKS CONSTRUCTED FROM UNIFORM RODS AND WIRES. ..... 15 QUESTIONS 2 .................................................................................................................. 17 EQUILIBRIUM OF A UNIFORM LAMINA ON AN INCLINED PLANE........ 22 EQUILIBRIUM OF A PLANE LAMINA .................................................................... 24 QUESTIONS 3 ................................................................................................................. 27

M1 Recap Example 1 Three particles of mass 6kg, 3kg and 2.5kg are attached to a light rod PQ of length 3m at the points P, Q and R, where PR = 0.9m. Find the position of the centre of mass of the system.

P

Q

R

0.9m

6g

3g

2.5g

Start by adding the centre of mass to the diagram and let the distance PG be x.

P

Q

G

R

0.9m

6g

3g

11.5g

2.5g

Taking moments about P gives: 11.5g × x = 3g × 0.9 + 3 × 2.5g x = 0.89m

Centre of mass of a system of particles distributed in two dimensions The principle applied above is simply applied firstly in the horizontal direction and then vertically. Example 2 Particles of mass 2kg, 4kg, 5kg and 6kg are attached to the corners of a light rectangular plate PQRS. Given that PQ = 5cm and QR = 12cm calculate the distance of the centre of mass of the system from a) PQ b) PS
Q 4kg 5cm 2kg P S 12cm R 5kg

6kg

It is very easy to make simple numerical mistakes with these questions and therefore you are advised to set the question out in a table. It is assumed that the centre of mass horizontally is at X and vertically at Y . Separate Masses 5 12 5 Total Mass 17 X Y

Mass x co-ord Y co-ord

2 0 0

4 0 5

6 12 0

To find the distance of the centre of mass from PQ we use the formula:

§ mx !§ mX
i i i

To find the distance from PS we use the formula:
i i

Example 3 The diagram below shows a series of particles that make up a s stem. The centre of mass of the s stem is at the point (x, ). Find the coordinates of the centre of mass of the s stem.

g

(x, )

. kg

g

With an example such as this it is once again easy to make a simple numerical mistake as students may miss the minus signs.

  



¨



¤§ ¢

! .

¥

¤¢ 

!1

¡

¦

§m
¢ £ 



! .

!§ mi 

3kg 



  ¦ 

!1

Using the same tabular approach: Separate Masses 2.5 4 1 3 -1 -2 Total Mass 11.5 X Y

Mass x co-ord Y co-ord

2 -2 2
i i

3 5 2

Using the formula:

§ mx !§ mX
i 

4  2.5  12  15 ! 11.5X X ! 2.22

And similarly for the y direction:

§ m y !§ m Y
i i i

Y! . 4

Therefore the centre of mass of the system is at (2.22, . 4)

##

!

4  2.5  

! 11.5Y

""

Questions 1 1 A light rod PR of length 3.5m has particles of mass 1.5kg, 3kg and 2.5kg attached to it at P Q and R respectively, where PQ = 1.5m. Determine the distance of the centre of mass from R. 2 Particles of mass 4kg, 2.5kg, 6kg and 3kg are attached to the corners of a light rectangular plate PQRS. Given that PQ = 8cm and QR = 16cm calculate the distance of the centre of mass of the system from a) PQ b) PS
Q 2.5kg 8cm 4kg P S 16cm R 6kg

3kg

3 Four particles of mass 1kg, 2kg, 5kg and 2.5kg lie in the (x,y) plane at the points with coordinates (1,2), (-2,3), (4,2) and (-3,2) respectively. Calculate the coordinates of the centre of mass of the system.

4 The system below is made up of three light rods. Three masses of value 2.5kg, 4kg and 1kg are placed at the vertices A, B and C respectively. Calculate the distance of the centre of mass from a) AB b) AC.
B

12cm

18cm A C

Centre of mass of a uniform plane lamina. Obviously there are some standard results to be taken for granted. y y y Uniform rectangular lamina:- at centre of the shape Uniform circular disc:- at centre of disc Uniform triangular lamina:o Equilateral:- at centre o Isosceles:- at the intersection of the medians

A median is a line that joins a vertex of a triangle to the centre of the side opposite to the vertex. The centre of mass of a scalene triangle is at a point one third of the way along the median (from the edge). The centre of mass of the triangle ABC is at the point G, where EG = EC.

B

D E G

A

F

C

y

Uniform circular arc:- the centre of mass is along the axis of r sin E from the centre where is measured symmetry at a distance E in radians.

r

2

y

Uniform Sector:- centre of mass is on the axis of symmetry at a 2r sin E from the centre, where is measured in radians. distance 3E (note the use of in the formula and 2 in the diagram.)

r

2

Example 4 Calculate the coordinates of the centre of mass of the uniform triangular lamina ABC if the point A is placed at the origin.
B

12m

18m A C

From the definitions above the centre of mass is at the point that is one third of the way along DC.
B

12m D

18m A C

Note that D has coordinates (0,6). Therefore C of M is at (6,4).

Application to composite figures. Example 5 The centre of mass for the shape below can be found by using the same ideas as those set out above. All you need to do is treat each part separately. Assume that the shape ABCDE is a uniform lamina made up of a rectangle and an isosceles triangle.
C

B

12cm 9cm 7.5cm
F D

A

E

One only needs to consider the distance of the centre of mass from the edge AB as the shape is symmetrical and therefore the centre of M will lie along the mirror line. Since the rectangle ABCE is uniform its centre of mass will be 6 cm from AB. The centre of mass of the isosceles triangle will be one third of the way along the line FD which is a distance of 14.5cm from the line AB. By applying the tabular method we get:Separate Masses 108m 33.75m 6 14.5 Total Mass 141.75m

Since the separate parts are uniform I have used the areas to represent the masses.

\$

Mass x co-ord

i i

E ample The obje t below is formed by removing a uniform semi ir ular dis of radius m from a se ond uniform semi ir ular dis of radius m. Cal ulate the enter of mass of the obje t.

By definition the entre of mass will lie on the mirror line. The formula for the entre of mass for a uniform se tor is

Using the tabular approa h again:

4

4 2

4

T

T

T

4

!

sin

!

)

' 4

2 0

4

4 2

2 4

y o-ord

v v sin

T T

v v sin

T T sin T

& 6 96

8

Mass

9T

Separate Masses 1 T

%

4

the angle at the entre is

r sin E where E . Obviously in the above e ample = .

4 7

6

5

@

m

m

Total Mass T

5

5

'

5 5

5

5 5

5

54( )

! .

m

&13 0

132 32

11

.

! 1 1.

&13 0

13 22 1 0

)( A 5

( v1

)  (1 . v

&
. ) ! 1 1.

%

Using the formula:

§m
'

!§ mi

5

& 5 5 6 5 5 ' 2 5 5 %

Obviously the disc we are interested in can be found by subtracting the small semi circular disc from the larger one. Using the same formula again:

§ mx !§ mX
i i i

144 18 !

27 TX 2

X ! 2.97

So the centre of mass is 2.97cm from the centre along the axis of symmetry.

The same principle of adding and subtracting parts can be applied to the example below. Example 7 The object below is formed by removing two uniform circular discs from a uniform rectangular lamina. Calculate the centre of mass of the plate.
B 16cm C

1.5cm

10cm 3cm 6cm

A 12cm

B

C

8 T» « ¬18T T sin 2 ¼ ­ ½

« 9T ¬2 ­

4 T » 27 sin ¼ ! TX 2½ 2 T

B

C

D

Circle 1 Mass x co-ord Y co-ord 2.25 3 6

Y

Plate = Rectangular Lamina - Circle 1 - Circle 2
i i i

= 5.77cm

Looking at it vertically:

§ m y !§ m Y
i i i

(120-4.5) Y = 600 ² (13.5 + 13.5) Y = 4.87cm Therefore the centre of mass is 5.77cm from AB and 4.87cm from AD.

D

(120-4.5)

D

§ mx !§ m

= 720 ² (7.75 + 27)

D

Separate Masses Circle 2 Rectangular Lamina 2.25 120 12 6 6 5

Total Mass Plate 120-4.5

D

Frameworks constructed from uniform rods and wires. By definition the centre of mass of a uniform rod is at its centre therefore a framework can be treated as a series of particles. Example 8 The framework ABC is made up of three uniform rods and a semi circular arc. Find the centre of mass of the framework assuming that A is at the origin.
B

20cm 12cm

16cm A C

Remembering that the formula for the centre of mass of a uniform circular T r sin E and that E ! . Also note that the centre of mass of the arc arc is 2 E will have a negative x coordinate. Separate Masses Rod AB Rod AC Rod BC 12m 16m 20m 0 8 8 Total Mass Framework (48 + 6)m

Y co-ord

6

0

6

Y

F

E

Mass x co-ord

Arc AB 6m T 6si 2 ! 12 T T 2 6

Looking at the problem horizontally:

§ mx !§ mX
i i i

And now vertically:
i i i

rq p i

g

h

Therefore the entre of

! .

ass is at the point with oordinates (3. 3, .

a Y

a

a

a

(1 v )  (

v ) ( Tv ) ! ( 

T)

c

b

W

X `

V

Y X

b

V

§

UTSG S

! .

y !§

R H I
).

H

I

(1 v )  (

v ) ( Tv

Q 

1 ) !( T

G

G P 

T)

I H

R c g

Questions 2 1 For the uniform laminae below determine the coordinates of the centre of mass. a) b)

c)

2 Determine the coordinates of the centre of mass of the uniform plate below assuming that A is at the origin.
14cm B C

D E 27cm 19cm

A 6cm

F

3 The diagram shows a uniform lamina PQRS. Find the distance of centre of mass from a) PQ b) PS
Q 12cm R

12cm

P

18cm

S

4 A uniform circular sector has a radius of 25cm and the angle at the centre is 100º. Find the distance of the centre of mass of the sector from the centre of circle.

25c m

100º

5T radians. 8 Find the distance of the centre of mass of the arc from the centre of circle.

5 An arc of a circle has a radius 18cm and an angle the centre of

18cm

5T 8

6 A uniform framework is made up of a uniform circular arc and two uniform rods as displayed in the diagram below. Calculate the distance of the centre of mass from the centre of the circle.

25c m

100º

7 A thin isosceles triangular plate has a corner folded over as shown in the diagram below. Find the distance of the centre of mass from AB.
A

14cm 9cm

C

B 27cm

8 The earring below is formed from a uniform circular disc of radius 2.5cm. As part of the construction process a circular disc of radius 0.5cm is removed from the original disc where the centre is 3cm from A along the line AB. The disc is then added back onto the original disc where the centre of the disc is 0.5cm from A along the line AB. Calculate the distance of the centre of mass of the earring from A.
B

A

Equilibrium of a uniform lamina on an inclined plane. For an inclined lamina to remain in equilibrium on an inclined plane the line of action of the weight must fall within the side of the lamina that is in contact with the plane (as shown in the diagram below).

G

In the second diagram the object will topple over.

G

Example 9 A uniform rectangular lamina is placed on a plane inclined at an angle . Given that the lamina is in limiting equilibrium find the angle .

6cm 1 cm
G

By simple trigonometry:
an U !

.

In exam questions students need to be careful in choosing the angle, a diagram and the application of alternate angles is usually sufficient.

x w

@ U ! 1.

r

y

vu s

t

Equilibrium of a plane lamina A suspended lamina will be in equilibrium when its centre of mass is directly below the point of suspension. Exam question The diagram shows a uniform sheet of metal. Find the distance, in cm, of the centre of mass of the plate. a) (i) From AB (ii) From AF. The shape hangs in equilibrium from the point C. b) Find, to the nearest degree the angle made by CD with the downward vertical.
8cm B C

D E 15cm 9cm

A 3cm

F

a) Splitting the shape into two rectangles and applying the tabular approach gives:
8cm B C

2
D

1
15cm

E

9cm

A 3cm

F

Using the tabular approach: Separate Masses Rectangle 1 Rectangle 2 45m 30m 1.5 5.5 7.5 12 Total Mass Plate 75m Y

Looking at the problem horizontally:
i i i

(45 1.5)

(30 5.5) ! 75X

X ! 3.1cm

Therefore the distance from AB is 3.1cm And now vertically:
i i i





b) On e the obje t is suspended fro and hen e needs to be found.

  



Therefore the distan e fro

 

! .

AF is .



 

(

v . )(

v1 ) !

C, by definition CG will be verti al

 

 





§






§ mx !§ m
 



Mass x co-ord Y co-ord



   

8cm B C

G
E 15cm 9cm

D

A 3cm

F

U!

q po

nm m

m n

n

nm

herefore the

gle betwee the dow w rd vertic l

j

U!

.

ji e d
. .
r

kd

h gf l

d CD is

. º.

Questions 3 1 The diagram shows a uniform sheet of metal. Find the distance, in cm, of the centre of mass of the plate. a) (i) From AB (ii) From AF The shape hangs in equilibrium from the midpoint of the edge AB. b) Find, to the nearest degree the angle made by ED with the downward vertical.
14cm B C

D E 22cm 16cm

A 5cm

F

2 A uniform semicircular lamina is suspended from a point on the diameter half way between the centre and the outer edge. Calculate in radians the angle that the diameter makes with the downward vertical.

3 The framework ABC is made up of three uniform rods and a semi circular arc. Find the centre of mass of the framework assuming that A is at the origin.
B

15cm 9cm

12cm A C

If the framework is suspended from B, find the angle that AB makes with the downward vertical. 4 The metallic lamina below is non-uniform. Areas CDEF and IFGH are twice as dense as the rest of the plate. Calculate the distance of the centre of mass from: a) HG b) JL
A L M B D 6cm J I 10cm H G 2cm F E

C

If the object is freely suspended from B and is hanging in equilibrium, find the angle that BC makes with the downward vertical. 5 If the object in example 7 is freely suspended from D, find the angle that AD makes with the horizontal.

6 The earring below is formed from three quarters of a circular disc of radius 3cm. The distance OB is 2.5cm. Find the distance of the centre of mass, along the line of symmetry, from O.

A

B

O

If the earring is freely suspended from A, find the angle that AB makes with the mirror line. 7 The object below is formed by removing a uniform semi circular disc of radius 2.5m from a second uniform semi circular disc of radius 8m. Calculate the center of mass of the object.

8m

2.5cm

If the object above is placed on an inclined plane, at what angle would the object topple?