We've
all heard the expression, "We have a lot of momentum going." Well, in physics, momentum
is a vector, and it is a product between the mass of a particle and its velocity.And so the
units would be kgǤ mȀs.
F
ሬԦ
ൌ mǤ a ሬԦ ൌ m
uv ሬԦ
ut
ൌ
uሺmvሬԦሻ
ut
ൌ
up ሬԦ
ut
So what you seethe force is
ୢ୮ሬሬԦ
ୢ୲
, and what that means is if a particle changes its momentum, a
force must have acted upon it.It also means if a force acts on a particle, it will change its
momentum.
Let us now envision that we have a whole set of particles which are interacting with each
other, and the interaction could be gravitational interaction, could be electrical interaction,
but they're interacting with each other.
Zillions of them, a whole star cluster.I pick one here, which I call m
i
, and I pick another here,
which I call m
j
.And there is an external force on them, because they happen to be exposed
to forces from the outside world, and so on this one is a force F
i
external, and on this one is
F
j
external.But they're interacting with each other, either attracting or repelling, and so in
addition to these external force, there is a force that j feels due to the presence of i.And let's
suppose they are attracting each other.This would be F that j experience in the presence of
i.Actions equals minus reactions, according to Newton's Third Law, so this force, F
ij
, will be
exactly the same as F
ji
, except in the opposite direction.We call these internal forces.That's
the interaction between the particles.
If these were the only two forces, then the net force on this object, on this particle i, would
be... would be a force in this direction.This would be F net.Now, you can do the same
here.This would be F net on particle j, and this would be F net on particle i.But since there
are zillions of objects here, there are many of these interacting forces, and so I can't tell you
what the net force will be.The net force is ultimately the sum of the external force and all the
internal forces.
What is the total momentum of these zillions of particles? Well, that's the sum of the
individual momenta.
ሬሬԦ
୲୭୲
ൌ p
ଵ
ሬሬሬሬԦ p
ଶ
ሬሬሬሬԦ ڮ p
న
ሬሬሬԦ ڮ
I take the derivative of this:
u
ሬሬԦ
୲୭୲
ut
ൌ
up ሬԦ
ଵ
ut
up ሬԦ
ଶ
ut
ڮ
up ሬԦ
୬
ut
ڮ
Well, that's the force on number one.It's the total force on number one.So it is F1, but it is
the net force on F1.
u
ሬሬԦ
୲୭୲
ut
ൌ F
ሬԦ
ଵ
௧
F
ሬԦ
ଶ
௧
ڮ F
ሬԦ
௧
ڮ
And F... and dp/dt for this particle equals F2 net force, and the force on particle number i
equals Fi net, and so on.
And so when we add up all these forces, obviously that is the total force on the entire
system.
Now comes the miracle.
The miracle is that all these internal forces eat each other up.
This ji cancels this one if you look at the system as a whole
not if you look at the individual particles, but on the system as a whole, they all cancel each
other out.
And so the total force on the system is simply the total force external.
And all the internal forces
you can forget about it.
And this means, then, that we come to a key conclusion
thatdp total/dt...
in fact, I have it written down there.
It's so important that I want you to look at it this whole lecture.
Look at this.
You see that dp/dt is the total force externally
forget all the internal forces
and what it means...
that if the external force, the total external force on the whole system is zero, it means that
the momentum cannot change.
Momentum is conserved, and that's called the conservation of momentum.
It only holds if the sum of all external forces are zero.
We could have hundreds of stars, like a globular cluster, and they could collide with each
other, they could explode, they could break apart
all those forces are internal, they don't count.
The angular mo... the momentum of the cluster as a whole
not angular momentum, I misspoke.
The momentum of the cluster as a whole would not change if there are no external forces on
the system, if the net sum, the total external force, is zero.
So the individual stars will change their momentum all the time, because the individual
particles in the individual stars will experience, of course, the internal forces.
I'm not saying that the individual particles do not continuously experience momentum
changes.
It's just the system as a whole for which the momentum is then conserved.
We can do a very simple example so that you get a feeling... numerical idea.
I would have a...
an object here as mass, m1, and here I have one, m2, and let this one have a velocity, v1,
and this one has a velocity, v2.
Onedimensional problem, just as a warmup.
They plow into each other and they stick together.
I put some glue on one, and so they stick together.
That's a given.
You have to accept that.
Let this be the direction of increasing x, and so before the collision I have a certain amount
of momentum.
I can do this on a horizontal table, which is frictionless.
I can do it on an ice surface, which is nearly frictionless and I ignore air drag.
So this is the situation before, and so the momentum that I have before equals m1 v1
this is my plus direction
I could put vectors over there but that's really not necessary, because it's a onedimensional
problem
plus m2v2.
If you like that, be my guest.
That's the momentum before.
Now they stick together and so when they stick together, their total mass is m1 + m2.
And then their velocity happens to be v prime.
We often give a prime to the situation after the collision occurs.
And so now I can apply, for the first time, the conservation of momentum.
The momentum before must be the same as the momentum afterwards because there are
no external forces on the system.
When they collide, you better believe it that there are internal forces.
You better believe that there is glue and it goes "plunk" and they feel those forces, both of
them.
The momentum of each one individually is changing, but not the momentum of the system
as a whole, and so this equals (m1 + m2) v prime.
And so, if you put in some numbers
suppose m1 equals one kilogram, and v1 is five meters per second, let m2 be two kilograms
and let v2 be three meters per second.
And you see, since they are both in the same direction momentum here is 5 + 6 is 11, so
this is 11.
And this is 1 + 2 is 3, so that is 3 times v1 prime, and so v1 prime is eleventhirds meters
per second.
So the conservation of momentum tells you what the speed is after the collision.
When we deal with collisions, the velocities of the objects before the collision are unprimed.
You see here v1, and you see here v2.
Now, the velocities after the collisions, by convention, are primed.
You see here v prime.
Now if after the collision object one and object two have a different velocity, we will call it v1
prime and v2 prime.
Now in this case, we're dealing with an inelastic collision, so m1 and m2 are stuck together.
They are merged, so it is sufficient to just call it v prime.
You could have called it v1 prime, because v1 prime is the same as v2 prime is the same as
v prime.
And during the next four minutes, you will see that a few times do I call it v1 prime.
I wish I really hadn't.
It would be better if I had just used v prime.
That is unique and sufficient.
Now, there was a certain amount of kinetic energy before the collision, and of course, we can
all calculate that
kinetic energy before the collision.
That is onehalf m1 v1 squared plus onehalf m2 v2 squared
onehalf m1 v1 squared, onehalf m2 v2 squared.
How much is it? You can do that as well as I can.
If you add that up, you will find 21.5 joules.
Trivial to stick in the numbers.
Now I want to hear from you.
What do you think the situation is with the kinetic energy after the collision? Don't look at
the numbers.
Just use your intuition.
It may be wrong.
That's okay, my intuition is often wrong.
So there was a certain amount of kinetic energy.
We had this collision, and I want you to tell me whether you think that the kinetic energy has
perhaps increased or decreased or maybe the kinetic energy hasn't changed.
Who thinks the kinetic energy has not changed? Good for you.
I see some parents even.
Who thinks the kinetic energy has decreased? Even better for you.
Hey, there's a professor of physics there.
Can't go wrong there.
And who thinks the kinetic energy has increased? No one thinks that.
Hey, it's amazing.
Let's take a look.
Kinetic energy after the collision.
That would be onehalf m1 plus m2 times v prime squared.
Would we agree? Let me write this at a different location.
So this was the 21? joules.
Well, you can do this as well as I can.
We know that v1 prime is
that is eleventhirds.
And you will find that this number equals 20.2 joules.
So the kinetic energy went down.
Now, you may say, "Well, big deal.
"Little bit of kinetic energy
1.3 joules.
Who cares about 1.3 joules?" Well, it is a real big deal in physics, let me tell you.
And I can appre...
I can make you appreciate that it is a real big deal by doing the following.
I don't change the masses, but I just am going to change the direction of the impact.
Here is m1 and here is m2.
The speeds remain the same
v1 and this is v2.
No change in the numbers except that they go now
[whooshes]
headon.
What is the momentum of particle number one? Well, that is mv.
1 x 5 is plus 5.
Remember, this is the increasing direction of X.
So the momentum is plus 5.
What is the other one? That is 2 x 3, that is 6, backwards.
This is minus 6.
So what is the total...
the total momentum...
let's give it a magnitude equals minus 1? The magnitude is one, of course and the
momentum, if I leave this off we would call that minus one because it's a onedimensional
problem.
The momentum before is in this direction.
It's minus one.
So what now is v prime? They stick together.
Here they are.
And afterwards, I'm not even sure whether they go this way or this way.
Yes, I am sure, because the momentum is in this direction, so I predict that v1 prime will be
in this direction.
And so this now equals m1 plus m2 times the new v1 prime.
Well, m1 plus m2 is 1 + 2, is 3 kilograms and so you see that v1 prime equals minus one
third meters per second.
So the whole system now goes off with onethird meters per second in this direction.
The kinetic energy before has not changed
those 21? joules, right? That is independent of how I collide them with each other.
What now is the kinetic energy afterwards? This is a great tragedy, because now you get
onehalf the sum of the masses, which is three times this small number squared.
Goes with V squared, right? And now there is only 0.17 joules left.
Almost all kinet... kinetic energy has been destroyed.
So what you see here in front of your eyes
that kinetic energy can be destroyed, but momentum cannot be destroyed in the absence of
external forces.
Kinetic energy and momentum is a totally different thing.
The momentum of the individual particles gets changed, but the net momentum did not
change but the kinetic energy was destroyed.
I can destroy the kinetic energy completely if I want that.
I can arrange a collision so that all kinetic energy has been removed.
Suppose this particle has a mass five and the velocity is one.
This is my shorthand notation.
And this particle has a mass one but it has a velocity five.
The momentum of this system is zero
plus five in this direction, minus five in this direction.
But you bet your life there is kinetic energy.
After they collision...
they hit each other, we agreed that they would stick, there was glue on it.
Momentum afterwards must therefore still be zero.
Internal forces don't matter no matter what happens.
Kinetic energy is zero.
So the whole system collides
[bing]
And afterwards you have here the sum of the total masses and it just stands still, because I
told you that they are going to stick together.
I used glue.
If you have a car collision, and two cars hit each other, and I compare the situation just
before the collision with just after the collision
here are the two cars and one has a speed in this direction, the other has a speed in this
direction, and they hit each other.
And they stick together, it's a given.
You go
[whooshes]
one big clump.
So this is before.
And I can give them some velocities.
This is the speed of one, v1, and this is the speed of the other, v2.
Afterwards you see something like this: v prime.
Just a wreck!
The impact time is so short that the change in momentum due to friction with the road
that would be an external force, friction with the road.
But that can be ignored, is negligibly small.
The cars hit.
There is a huge internal force going on.
One slams on the other and the other slams on one.
There is even fireworks
metal scrapes over metal.
Friction, but that's internal friction, not friction with the road.
So momentum is approximately conserved if we can ignore the friction from the road during
the impact because the impact time is so short.
So let here be car with mass m1 and here is the other car with mass m2.
And we'll make it a twodimensional problem, because we have seen only onedimensional
problems now.
Let's make it a twodimensional problem.
So this is the direction for this car, and let's say this is the direction in which the other car is
going, velocity v2.
And tragedy has it that this is the place where they're going to collide.
In what direction and what will be the speed after the collision? I only compare just the
moment before they hit with just the moment after they hit.
What comes later is a different story.
When you have formed the wreck, clearly it's going to slide on the road, and then there is an
external force which is friction, which will slow it down.
It's just during the impact I claim that to a reasonable approximation, momentum will have
to be conserved.
And so, what is the momentum of this one? Well, this may be the momentum of this one.
It may have a very small mass, small speed.
And what is the momentum of this one? Well, this may be the momentum of number one
and this could be the momentum of number two.
The net momentum is the vectorial sum of these two, which is this.
That is p total of the system.
That is never going to change.
That's before and after the collision exactly the same.
And therefore if you knew this angle theta and you know p1 and you know p2, then you can
calculate in what direction the objects are going to slide, but of course you can also calculate
then the velocity after the impact, because this total momentum must be the sum of the
total of the two cars
the mass of the two cars
times v prime.
And so you can calculate everything.
And that's what the police is doing when they find wrecks on the road.
They actually use the... the track, the... the skidding tracks of the wreck to cal culate v
prime, and then they can try to reconstruct the situation as it was before the collision.
Now, in all these cases, the objects stuck together.
We've only considered cases where they stick together, in which case we call those in
physics "completely inelastic collisions." Now, next lecture I will also deal with situations
whereby during the collision, the particles bounce off each other.
In completely inelastic collisions, you always lose kinetic energy
sometimes a little, as you see there; sometimes a lot, as you see there; sometimes
everything, as you see there.
Always in inelastic collisions do you lose kinetic energy.
Can we have, in a collision, an increase of kinetic energy? Well, depends on how you define
the word "collision." The answer is yes.
And in fact, I will show you an example and even do a demonstration.
In the most simple case that I can think of, I have here a block which has a certain mass, m.
But there is an explosive inside and all of a sudden, it goes "Boom!" It explodes.
Well, before, the speed is zero and so the momentum is zero.
And there comes the bang
[whooshes]
and one piece flies in this direction with a certain velocity, v2 prime.
This is m2.
And another piece flies off in this direction with mass m1, with velocity v1 prime.
Clearly, momentum must be conserved.
This explosion is only internal forces, and so you can write down...
if you call this the increasing direction of x, so this momentum is positive and this
momentum is negative, the total momentum will never change.
It's the same before as it is afterwards, so this must be m2 times v2 prime minus m1 times
v1 prime.
What happened with the kinetic energy? Well, kinetic energy has clearly increased.
There was zero kinetic energy to start with.
This one now has kinetic energy and this one has kinetic energy.
Where did that come from? Well, it was the chemical reaction of the explosion.
Momentum, however, was conserved.
See, momentum really doesn't care about these explosions.
That's all internal forces.
So be very careful.
Never confuse momentum with energy.
Energy can change or cannot change, can increase or decrease or remain the same kinetic
energy, but if there are no external forces on the system, momentum is always conserved.
And this is what I can show you.
I have a demonstration set up on this air track, and we do it on an air track so there is a
minimum of friction.
And we're going to push two cars together and we hold them together with a spring.
The spring is like the explosion, like the dynamite that can push these apart.
So here is one car on the air track, then there is a spring and there is another car.
Let this mass be m1 and this mass be m2, and this surface is nearly frictionless.
And I hold them together with a string so that I can pull the spring in.
So this spring is compressed, and the whole system is at rest, v equals zero.
There is potential energy in that spring.
I take a burner
[whooshes], and I burn away this thread.
This is the situation before.
Momentum before is zero.
Total momentum afterwards would also be zero.
It's identical to what I did there.
And so this object will fly in this direction, and this object will fly in that direction.
And you already can tell what the ratio of the velocities will be, because you will see that v2
prime divided by v1 prime
you see it right there
equals m1 divided by m2.
And so I will make some predictions about the speed of these two objects.
The largest mass, by the way, would get the smallest velocity, and the smallest mass would
get the largest velocity, the largest speed.
What you see in here are really speeds.
We don't have the information on the direction anymore.
How do we measure the speed? Well, we actually measure the time for the cars to move ten
centimeters.
Each car has a little metal plate which is ten centimeters long, and it blanks out a light
emitting diode.
And the moment that the light emitting diode is occluded, the timer starts, and the moment
that the light emitting diode emerges again, the timer stops.
So that's the way we will measure the time for each car to move by ten centimeters.
The first experiment that I will be doing, m1 is 244 plus or minus one gram and m2 is also
244 plus or minus one gram.
In other words, the uncertainty in the masses is something like 0.4%.
That's just part of life.
I can't do much better.
The time that it takes for object number one to go ten centimeters is obviously ten divided
by v1, which is the velocity that we want to compare them with.
Now, the ten centimeters is really only known to an accuracy of about one millimeters.
So that is an uncertainty of 1% in my timing in my velocity, so this is a 1% uncertainty.
So if we measure the times that object number one and object number two will go through
this timing device
a measurement of ten centimeters
you would expect the times to be the same to within roughly 1 + .5...
say 1?%.
There is, however, an additional problem that is very difficult for me to evaluate and that's
the following.
If here is the lightemitting diode, and here is that metal plate that I mentioned to you,
which comes over this diode, occludes the diode, and says "start the timer," and then the
other end, of course, moves off and then the timer stops
that criterion for on and off for one diode may not be exactly the same as for the other.
Here is one system.
One car will fly in this direction.
And here is another system, and the car will fly in that direction.
And that's not so easy to evaluate unless you do a lot of experiments.
So I would roughly guess
I'm always on the conservative side
that this may add an uncertainty in the criterion of the diode of another millimeter.
And so effectively, I really don't know any better than two millimeters what the ten
centimeters is.
So I would say we really have to allow here for two percent plus .4%, so I would predict that
the times of these two cars will be the same to within roughly 2?%.
That would be my prediction.
So we're going to write down here the times, and then we're going to measure them.
So time one and time two, and we will see whether these two numbers are the same within
the uncertainty of our measurements.
Here is the air track.
Have to turn on the airflow.
Oh, let me tell, for those of you...
For the parents in my audience who haven't seen this one, this is a marvelous device.
It is a track which is wellconstructed, so that these cars fit beautifully on this Vshaped
track, and then we blow air out of this track, which lifts these cars up so that they float, and
so we can move them in horizontal direction with extremely little friction.
There is no metal touching metal.
The only friction you have is the air drag.
That you can never avoid.
When you go through the air with a car, there is wind
the same wind that you feel when you drive your bicycle.
But there's very little, and that's why these experiments are done on these air tracks.
These are not cheap, by the way, these air tracks
they're very expensive.
Well, you... you pay $25,000 tuition, so you might as well get something for it, right?
So I hope that these timers are on.
They are.
And now we have here one car, and notice how frictionless it goes when I touch it.
Very nice, almost frictionless.
And here we have another one, and they have equal mass to within one gram.
And there is a spring between them.
Some of you may be able to see it.
And I'm going to attach now that string to hold them together.
And so I put potential energy in the spring by pushing them together, and they are lined up
now here.
They have no momentum.
The timer's not on? Has to be reset.
Thank you.
They're now both zero.
Yeah, you're sure? Okay.
So now I'm going to burn off that wire.
The momentum of each one of those cars will change.
One will go in this direction, the other one in this direction.
Kinetic energy will increase.
That's the potential energy from the spring.
But the momentum of the system as a whole after I burn the wire will remain zero.
Ready for this?
Make me happy.
What do you see?
You're going to make me unhappy? I better walk around.
I can't wait.
220... oh, fantastic, absolutely fantastic! 223, 219 milliseconds.
That is well within the uncertainties.
What was the number, 219?
219 milliseconds and 223 milliseconds.
If I repeat the experiment and I make the string shorter, I will get different primes.
I can never predict the times, because if I make the spring more squeezed, then obviously I
will have more potential energy.
And so the speeds of the cars will be higher, but the times will be the same within the
uncertainty of the measurements.
So I can never predict the time.
Now we're going to do an experiment whereby I'm going to make m2 twice the mass.
m2 is 488 plus or minus one gram.
Now, that's going to be interesting, because now you really begin to test the conservation of
momentum.
The momentum before is zero.
I burn the wire, momentum afterwards is also zero.
But the velocities...
oh, I erased this
v2 prime divided by v1 prime equals m1 divided by m2.
And so twice the mass will get half the speed.
And so now you're going to see that one car will go twice as slow as the other.
That's the only way that nature can conserve momentum.
Nature has no choice.
Nature can deal with kinetic energy one way or another, but it cannot finagle momentum.
So it must give the more massive car half the speed than it gives the other car.
And so we're going to redo this experiment now with a car here which is twice the mass.
And this one equals...
Where is my other car? Oh, my car is here.
And this one is one mass, so this is the 244, and the one on the...
on your right is the 488.
So I have to bring them together again with a string.
So I... I do the work now.
I always do the work here in 26.100.
I do the work.
I squeeze these springs.
I get paid for that, by the way.
And that's potential energy that goes into the spring.
There it is.
Momentum is zero.
Kinetic energy is zero.
I have to zero the timers.
Oh, and I would like to make a prediction.
I would like to see...
we'll measure T1 and then we'll measure T2, and then we get a number and we get a
number, and if we multiply this number by 2.00, then I would like to get this number within
the uncertainties of the measurements.
There is always an uncertainty in any measurement that you do.
All right? Make sure that...
are the timers zero?
Okay, there we go.
What do you see? Ah! 406, 193
whoo! On the button! 406 and 193.
0.406
is that what you see? Yeah? And 0.193.
Now, I don't even need my calculator to multiply this by two.
I can even do that by heart.
93
.396, .406.
Close enough.
The two are in excellent agreement within the 2?% uncertainty in each measurement.
So, you see, that's exactly how you can demonstrate the conservation of momentum.
They picked up kinetic energy, but after the wire was burned, the momentum remained zero.
Now I change the topic.
It... it appears that I change the topic, but you will see in a few weeks that it's really related

not even a few weeks
you will see that it's really related to the conservation of momentum.
I'm going to explain to you now what we physicists mean by center of mass of a system.
The center of mass of a system is defined as follows: I have here some kind of an object
not just a point mass, but it has a finite size.
It could be a hammer.
It could be something like this
a squash racquet.
And let the center of mass be, for instance, here.
This is the center of mass.
I pick any origin I want to.
You're totally free to choose this origin
doesn't matter where you take it.
And this, now, is the position vector of the center of mass.
And now I carve out a zillion little mass elements, m of i, covering the entire object, and
then this is the position vector, r of i.
And the center of mass is defined as follows: the total mass of this object times the position
vector of the center of mass is the sum, summed over i
over all these little elements, i
times the position vectors of the individual little particles that make up this object.
v center of mass
I find that by taking the derivative of this equation
equals one over the mass total.
I bring this on this side, I take the derivative here, and so here I get the sum of m of i times
the dri/dt.
And so this is the sum of i... of mi vi, simply taking the first derivative, which changes
positions into velocities.
Now, this is also 1 over m total times the total momentum, because I've all these momenta
of these individual particles.
They have a...
together, a total momentum.
And so now you come to another very important statement in physics, and that is that the
total momentum of an object
which could be a hammer, which could be a squash racquet
is the total mass of that object times the velocity of the center of mass.
And if I take the derivative of this, then dp/dt of the total momentum
of which we learned that the total momentum, dp/dt, is the total external force, we already
learned that earlier
that now is the total mass of the system times the acceleration of the center of mass,
because I take the derivative of this equation.
That gives me dP/dt here, and the velocity changes to acceleration.
And look at this! This is really an amazing statement.
This says F = ma.
But if I have here this squash racquet and here is the center of mass, then if I throw this
object up in 26.400, as I will do later, then the center of mass behaves as if all the mass of
the entire squash racquet was right at that center of mass.
So the behavior of the center of mass is extremely predictable, whereas the behavior of the
squash racquet is not.
It may start tumbling.
If the external force on the squash racquet were zero, then it would continue to go always
with the same velocity, the center of mass.
If I had here a hammer
this is a hammer
and there were no external forces
I would be somewhere in outer space
and it would have a certain velocity.
Then the center of mass, but only the center of mass, would have a velocity that never
changes, because if there's no external force then there is only a constant velocity.
There's no acceleration.
But the hammer itself may be tumbling.
A little later in time, the hammer may have this position.
A little earlier in time, the hammer may have had this position.
But the center of mass is just one smooth motion.
That is very mysterious that there is one and only one point in any one of us
in you, in me, in any object
that the center of mass behaves as if all the matter were together in one point.
And so this is another quite important statement: For the center of mass, the total
momentum is the total
[no audio]
...the velocity of the center of mass.
And you take the derivative of that equation and you get F = ma.
And that means if the external force is zero
you can go back to the upper line again
if the external total force is zero, then the momentum of the system is conserved, and so the
center of mass will then keep its velocity unchanged.
Let's do one calculation to give you some experience on how you derive the center of mass.
I'll take a simple case.
I won't take a hammer.
It's a little bit complicated.
I will take three masses which are held together by very unphysical...
by massless rods, say.
Then I have three point masses and that makes my life a little easier.
Let this be the Y axis and this the X axis, and here at zero I have a mass m.
At a distance l, I have here a mass 2m.
This is also l and this is also l, so this is equilateral triangle.
These are massless rods, and here I have a mass m.
And I'm asking you, where is the center of mass? So you have three point masses, and they
are connected with massless rods.
Well, for those of you who have a good feeling for symmetry, they would say certainly it has
to lie somewhere on this line.
And it's probably slanted in the direction of the 2m, so it will probably be somewhere here.
And so this will be the position vector r center of mass, and the individual position vectors
from the origin here will be this, and this will be a position vector to this object, and the
position vector to this object is zero.
And so now we can calculate the position of the center of mass as follows.
We know that the total mass, which is 4m times the position vector, r center of mass
I go all the way up there on the blackboard; there's my definition for center of mass
equals the sum of the individual masses times their position vectors.
So it is the sum of i m of i times r i.
And this i goes from one to three.
Now, this is a vectorial equation, and whenever we have a vectorial equation, it sometimes
pays off to split it into two components
a y and to an x component.
And so in the x direction...
of course, the same equation holds for the x component of these vectors.
So now I have that 4m times the x component of the center of mass equals this mass times
the x component of its position vector, which is zero, plus this mass, which is 2m times the x
position, which is l
so plus 2m times l
plus this mass times the x component of this mass, which is onehalf l.
So that gives me plus onehalf m times l.
My m goes and so I get that x center of mass equals 2? divided by four.
That is fiveeighths l.
So we were not too far off where we put it.
Now, in the y direction, you can do exactly the same.
You can split it up into the position vector of this object, which is onehalf l square root
three.
This one has no y component and this one has no y component, so this is very easy.
So you're going to get that 4m times y of the center of mass equals this mass m times the y
component of that position vector, and that is onehalf l square root of three.
And so you lose your m, and so you see that y center of mass then becomes the square root
of three divided by eight times l.
And I think that's about 0.22L, very roughly.
Yes.
And so you see that we didn't put it in so badly.
It's about onefifth of this distance.
It's about onefifth higher than this distance.
And so you can calculate the center of mass.
That's really not too hard, if you have discrete points.
If you have a car or if you have an object like this, then it is, of course, much harder to
calculate the center of mass.
I will teach you in a few weeks a very easy way to determine experi mentally where the
center of mass is located
experimentally, which is different from calculating it analytically, as we just did.
So I mentioned to you that the motion of the center of mass is very uniform in the absence
of external forces, and that I can demonstrate for you again with the air track.
We have a system here of two cars which I connected by a spring.
I will turn on the air shortly because the air makes a lot of noise.
This is... these are two cars connected by a spring, and I will give these cars a certain
motion and they will go in this direction.
And they will oscillate in a weird way because they are connected with a spring and I keep
them connected.
And it will be nearly impossible for us to evaluate the motion of these two cars individually.
But if I give the whole system a certain velocity and then they go like this, and they keep
going like this and making crazy things, momentum of the center of mass will not change
only of the center of mass.
Not of this car, not of that car.
That's the uniqueness of the center of mass.
And so the center of mass will just laugh at us and ignore all these motions and will travel at
a constant speed very nicely.
So if you concentrate on that little object, you may be able to see that.
You may need a lot of imagination to see that, because you're going to be distracted by the
weird motion of the other two objects.
This is the center of mass.
It's right in the middle.
The objects have the same mass.
There we go.
You see how complicated this motion is of the individual cars? Can you see that the center of
mass is moving very uniformly, or can you not see that? Oh, you think you can see that? You
have a lot of imagination.
But I will help you.
I will turn on...
I will turn off all the lights and only turn on ultraviolet light.
And ultraviolet light will interact with that little ball, the center of mass, and when I then
make it dark, you will only see the motion of the center of mass.
And then you can really see that the center of mass moves in a very civilized way.
I'll bring it out here again.
Okay.
So now I'm going to help you to concentrate.
Are the timers off? Yes, timers are off?
Okay, dark.
Let your eyes get used to the darkness.
Okay, I'm going to do the same thing, and now look at that center of mass.
And we know that these cars are doing crazy things.
Hard to predict but the center of mass behaves decently.
Beautifully! Constant velocity.
I can let it go backwards, so you can enjoy this once more.
Center of mass motion, in the absence of external forces has a constant velocity.
When I throw up a hammer, then the hammer will do very weird things.
The hammer will start to tumble and rotate, but the center of mass will behave in a civilized
way.
If I throw up a hammer, then the center of mass and only the center of mass will just go
along a perfect parabola as if it were just a tennis ball.
Now at one point...
I will do it with a squash racquet
at one point the squash racquet may be like this, and at another point, the squash racquet
may be like this, and a little later, it may be like this, but the center of mass of the squash
racquet will perfectly go along a parabola.
And so we have here a squash racquet and we have here the center of mass.
I have also here a regular...
well, it's not quite a tennis ball, but close enough.
This one, you would expect it to behave perfectly like a parabola.
From this one, you would not expect it to behave like a parabola.
Let me throw this one up in light, and you will see that it has very strange motion.
If I show the whole thing in UV, then you will see the same kind of beautiful parabola as you
would see with this ball
something like this.
Forget the fact that it lights up.
You remember it was the last lecture that I wanted to remind you of.
So now we're going to turn off the lights and I want to show you the motion of the center of
mass.
You see the center of mass here? Can you all see it? Okay, there we go.
You ready? Concentrate only on the center of mass.
Nice parabola or not? I'll do it again.
You see the center of mass? Can you see it? You can still see it, right?
Wonderful parabola for me! All right.
Enjoy the presence of your parents.
Have a good weekend.
See you Monday
m2. We could have hundreds of stars... The angular mo. I have it written down there. and that's called the conservation of momentum. then. and this one has a velocity. This ji cancels this one if you look at the system as a wholenot if you look at the individual particles. it means that the momentum cannot change. if the net sum. So the individual stars will change their momentum all the time. and they could collide with each other. of course. like a globular cluster. they could explode. and so they stick together. the total external force. and let this one have a velocity. And this means... the total external force on the whole system is zero. the internal forces. Onedimensional problem. Now comes the miracle.. they don't count. I misspoke. they all cancel each other out. m1. I put some glue on one. . and here I have one. that if the external force. in fact. that we come to a key conclusionthatdp total/dt. I'm not saying that the individual particles do not continuously experience momentum changes. is zero. I would have a..And so when we add up all these forces. It's so important that I want you to look at it this whole lecture.. because the individual particles in the individual stars will experience. v2.. obviously that is the tot l force on the entire a system. Momentum is conserved.. numerical idea. v1. It only holds if the sum of all external forces are zero. And all the internal forcesyou can forget about it. The miracle is that all these internal forces eat each other up. the momentum of the cluster as a wholenot angular momentum. Look at this. We can do a very simple example so that you get a feeling. And so the total force on the system is simply the total force external. just as a warmup. they could break apartall those forces are internal. an object here as mass. They plow into each other and they stick together. but on the system as a whole. It's just the system as a whole for which the momentum is then conserved.. The momentum of the cluster as a whole would not change if there are no external forces on the system. You see that dp/dt is the total force externallyforget all the internal forcesand what it means.
which is nearly frictionless and I ignore air drag. Let this be the direction of increasing x. And so now I can apply. but not the momentum of the system as a whole. When they collide. and so the momentum that I have before equals m1 v1 this is my plus directionI could put vectors over there but that's really not necessary. and you see here v2. so it is sufficient to just call it v prime. We often give a prime to the situation after the collision occurs. The momentum before must be the same as the momentum afterwards because there ar e no external forces on the system. . for the first time. They are merged. You better believe that there is glue and it goes "plunk" and they feel those forces. the conservation of momentum. the velocities after the collisions. and so this equals (m1 + m2) v prime. And this is 1 + 2 is 3. So the conservation of momentum tells you what the speed is after the collision. Now if after the collision object one and object two have a different velocity.That's a given. so this is 11. So this is the situation before. Now in this case. both of them. which is frictionless. If you like that. and so v1 prime is eleven thirds meters per second. because it's a onedimensional problemplus m2v2. are primed. You see here v1. since they are both in the same direction momentum here is 5 + 6 is 11. we will call it v1 prime and v2 prime. That's the momentum before. so that is 3 times v1 prime. so m1 and m2 are stuck together. the velocities of the objects before the collision are unprimed. let m2 be two kilograms and let v2 be three meters per second. I can do this on a horizontal table. When we deal with collisions. and v1 is five meters per second. because v1 prime is the same as v2 prime is the same as v prime. You have to accept that. if you put in some numberssuppose m1 equals one kilogram. be my guest. their total mass is m1 + m2. by convention. You could have called it v1 prime. and so before the collision I have a certain amount of momentum. Now. And so. I can do it on an ice surface. Now they stick together and so when they stick together. The momentum of each one individually is changing. you better believe it that there are internal forces. You see here v prime. And you see. we're dealing with an inelastic collision. And then their velocity happens to be v prime.
Would we agree? Let me write this at a different location. That's okay. We know that v1 prime isthat is eleventhirds. So this was the 21? joules. Trivial to stick in the numbers. I wish I really hadn't. and I want you to tell me whether you think that the kinetic energy has perhaps increased or decreased or maybe the kinetic energy hasn't changed. What do you think the situation is with the kinetic energy after the collision? Don't look at the numbers. Now. If you add that up. we can all calculate thatkinetic energy before the collision.And during the next four minutes. Now. and of course. my intuition is often wrong. Can't go wrong there. Who thinks the kinetic energy has decreased? Even better fo you. That is unique and sufficient. Let's take a look. you can do this as well as I can. it's amazing. you will find 21. It may be wrong. And who thinks the kinetic energy has increased? No one thinks that.5 joules. there's a professor of physics there. Now I want to hear from you. That would be onehalf m1 plus m2 times v prime squared. How much is it? You can do that as well as I can. there was a certain amount of kinetic energy before the collision. Just use your intuition. Hey.2 joules. big deal. "Well. Well. r Hey. So there was a certain amount of kinetic energy. I see some parents even. Who thinks the kinetic energy has not changed? Good for you. It would be better if I had just used v prime. you may say. onehalf m2 v2 squared. So the kinetic energy went down. . We had this collision. That is onehalf m1 v1 squared plus onehalf m2 v2 squaredonehalf m1 v1 squared. you will see that a few times do I call it v1 prime. Kinetic energy after the collision. And you will find that this number equals 20.
So the momentum is plus 5. the total momentum. This is minus 6. that is mv. right? That is independent of how I collide them with each other. Almost all kinet.. Goes with V squared. I am sure. So what is the total.."Little bit of kinetic energy1. m1 plus m2 is 1 + 2. Here they are. right? And now there is only 0. let me tell you. And afterwards. The speeds remain the samev1 and this is v2. Who cares about 1. if I leave this off we would call that minus one because it's a one dimensional problem. but I just am going to change the direction of the impact. let's give it a magnitude equals minus 1? The magnitude is one. Yes. is 3 kilograms and so you see that v1 prime equals minus one third meters per second. Remember.. The kinetic energy before has not changedthose 21? joules.3 joules?" Well. Here is m1 and here is m2. What now is the kinetic energy afterwards? This is a great tragedy. which is three times this small number squared. so I predict that v1 prime will be in this direction. And I can appre. I'm not even sure whether they go this way or this way. The momentum before is in this direction.3 joules. Well. I don't change the masses. backwards. . 1 x 5 is plus 5. this is the increasing direction of X. because the momentum is in this direction.. kinetic energy has been destroyed. that is 6.. because now you get onehalf the sum of the masses.17 joules left. What is the other one? That is 2 x 3.. I can make you appreciate that it is a real big deal by doing the following. It's minus one. it is a real big deal in physics. of course and the momentum. So what now is v prime? They stick together. And so this now equals m1 plus m2 times the new v1 prime. No change in the numbers except that they go now [whooshes] headon... What is the momentum of particle number one? Well. So the whole system now goes off with onethird meters per second in this direction.
. Internal forces don't matter no matter what happens. we agreed that they would stick. it's a given. because I told you that they are going to stick together. This is my shorthand notation. The momentum of the individual particles gets changed. After they collision. is negligibly small. I can destroy the kinetic energy completely if I want that. You go [whooshes]one big clump. Kinetic energy and momentum is a totally different thing. but mom entum cannot be destroyed in the absence of external forces. This is the speed of one. there was glue on it. And this particle has a mass one but it has a velocity five. If you have a car collision. but the net momentum did not change but the kinetic energy was destroyed. Suppose this particle has a mass five and the velocity is one. and two cars hit each other. v1. I used glue. and they hit each other. they hit each other. The momentum of this system is zeroplus five in this direction. Momentum afterwards must therefore still be zero. So the whole system collides[bing]And afterwards you have here the sum of the total masses and it just stands still. . and this is the speed of the other. But you bet your life there is kinetic energy. friction with the road. the other has a speed in this direction. Kinetic energy is zero. And I can give them some velocities. Afterwards you see something like this: v prime. But that can be ignored.. Just a wreck! The impact time is so short that the change in momentum due to friction with the roadthat would be an external force.So what you see here in front of your eyesthat kinetic energy can be destroyed. v2. minus five in this direction. and I compare the situation just before the collision with just after the collisionhere are the two cars and one has a speed in this direction. So this is before. I can arrange a collision so that all kinetic energy has been removed. And they stick together.
but that's internal friction. the. the track. Let's make it a twodimensional problem. in all these cases. clearly it's going to slide on the road. So let here be car with mass m1 and here is the other car with mass m2. . There is a huge internal force going on... It's just during the impact I claim that to a reasonable approximation. When you have formed the wreck. because we have seen only one dimensional problems now. And that's what the police is doing when they find wrecks on the road. velocity v2. One slams on the other and the other slams on one. and then they can try to reconstruct the situation as it was before the collision. which will slow it down. small speed. That is never going to change.. And so. What comes later is a different story.The cars hit. Now. And therefore if you knew this angle theta and you know p1 and you know p2. And what is the momentum of this one? Well. and let's say this is the direction in which the other car is going. And so you can calculate everything. In what direction and what will be the speed after the collision? I only compare just the moment before they hit with just the moment after they hit. So this is the direction for this car. That is p total of the system. this may be the momentum of this one. That's before and after the collision exactly the same. this may be the momentum of num ber one and this could be the momentum of number two. And we'll make it a twodimensional problem. So momentum is approximately conserved if we can ignore the friction from the road during the impact because the impact time is so short. Friction. They actually use the. but of course you can also calculate then the velocity after the impact. The net momentum is the vectorial sum of these two. because this total momentum must be the sum of the total of the two carsthe mass of the two carstimes v prime. what is the momentum of this one? Well.. It may have a very small mass. And tragedy has it that this is the place where they're going to collide. which is this. the objects stuck together. momentum will have to be conserved. not friction with the road. and then there is an external force which is friction. then you can calculate in what direction the objects are going to slide. There is even fireworksmetal scrapes over metal. the skidding tracks of the wreck to cal culate v prime.
if you call this the increasing direction of x. v2 prime. an increase of kinetic energy? Well. Never confuse momentum with energy. And another piece flies off in this direction with mass m1. it goes "Boom!" It explodes. In completely inelastic collisions.. sometimes everything." Now. so this momentum is positive and this momentum is negative. And this is what I can show you. . I will show you an example and even do a demonstration. I have here a block which has a certain mass.We've only considered cases where they stick together. and so you can write down. with velocity v1 prime. momentum really doesn't care about these explosions. like the dynamite that can push these apart. however. Clearly. So be very careful. but if there are no external forces on the system. it was the chemical reaction of the explosion. Always in inelastic collisions do you lose kinetic energy. The spring is like the explosion. in a collision. Where did that come from? Well. can increase or decrease or remain the same kinetic energy. as you see there. as you see there. Energy can change or cannot change. See. m. the total momentum will never change. And in fact. before. Momentum. In the most simple case that I can think of. sometimes a lot. kinetic energy has clearly increased. next lecture I will also deal with situations whereby during the collision. And we're going to push two cars together and we hold them together with a spring. momentum is always conserved." The answer is yes. so this must be m2 times v2 prime minus m1 times v1 prime. then there is a spring and there is another car. Well. was conserved. I have a demonstration set up on this air track. It's the same before as it is afterwards. This explosion is only internal forces. There was zero kinetic energy to start with. But there is an explosive inside and all of a sudden. depends on how you define the word "collision. And there comes the bang[whooshes] and one piece flies in this direction with a certain velocity. So here is one car on the air track.. in which case we call those in physics "completely inelastic collisions. the speed is zero and so the momentum is zero. That's all internal forces. you always lose kinetic energysometimes a little. and we do it on an air track so there is a minimum of friction. This one now has kinetic energy and this one has kinetic energy. Can we have. momentum must be conserved. the particles bounce off each other. This is m2. as you see there. What happened with the kinetic energy? Well.
and this surface is nearly frictionless.emitting diode is occluded. And you already can tell what the ratio of the velocities will be. And I hold them together with a string so that I can pull the spring in. What you see in here are really speeds. Total momentum afterwards would also be zero. This is the situation before. by the way. And the moment that the light. The first experiment that I will be doing. we actually measure the time for the cars to move ten centimeters. So that is an uncertainty of 1% in my timing in my velocity.5. the uncertainty in the masses is something like 0. . Each car has a little metal plate which is ten centimeters long.. I take a burner [whooshes]. There is potential energy in that spring. And so this object will fly in this direction. And so I will make some predictions about the speed of these two objects. the timer starts. the timer stops. and it blanks out a light emitting diode.Let this mass be m1 and this mass be m2. So if we measure the times that object number one and object number two will go through this timing devicea measurement of ten centimetersyou would expect the times to be the same to within roughly 1 + . so this is a 1% uncertainty. would get the smallest velocity. It's identical to what I did there. which is the velocity that we want to compare them with. because you will see that v2 prime divided by v1 primeyou see it right thereequals m1 divided by m2.. Momentum before is zero. We don't have the information on the direction anymore. In other words. I can't do much better. That's just part of life. and this object will fly in that direction. the largest speed. How do we measure the speed? Well. and I burn away this thread. m1 is 244 plus or minus one gram and m2 is also 244 plus or minus one gram. and the moment that the light. say 1?%. Now. v equals zero. The time that it takes for object number one to go ten centimeters is obviously ten divided by v1. So that's the way we will measure the time for each car to move by ten centimeters. and the whole system is at rest. the ten centimeters is really only known to an accuracy of about one millimeters.emitting diode emerges again. The largest mass.4%. So this spring is compressed. and the smallest mass would get the largest velocity.
Very nice. which comes over this diode.. and we will see whether these two numbers are the same within the uncertainty of our measurements. Here is the air track. an additional problem that is very difficult for me to evaluate and that's the following. and then we're going to measure them. there is windthe same wind that you feel when you drive your bicycle. Well. so you might as well get something for it. There is no metal touching metal. so I would predict that the times of these two cars will be the same to within roughly 2?%. so that these cars fit beautifully on this V shaped track. So time one and time two. That you can never avoid. They are. almost frictionless.4%. occludes the diode. Oh. And that's not so easy to evaluate unless you do a lot of experiments. So I would say we really have to allow here for two percent plus . I really don't know any better than two millimeters what the ten centimeters is. for those of you.. you pay $25. When you go through the air with a car. It is a track which is wellconstructed. and then we blow air out of this track. which lifts these cars up so that they float.. The only friction you have is the air drag. If here is the lightemitting diode. and says "start the timer. And here is another system. Here is one system. That would be my prediction.. And now we have here one car. moves off and then the timer stopsthat criterion for on and off for one diode may not be exactly the same as for the other. you. But there's very little. Have to turn on the airflow. of course. and notice how frictionless it goes when I touch it. One car will fly in this direction. these air tracksthey're very expensive. and the car will fly in that direction. right? So I hope that these timers are on. And so effectively. So we're going to write down here the times. So I would roughly guessI'm always on the conservative sidethat this may add an uncertainty in the criterion of the diode of another millimeter. by the way.There is. this is a marvelous device. For the parents in my audience who haven't seen this one. and so we can move them in horizontal direction with extremely little friction. These are not cheap. . and here is that metal plate that I mentioned to you." and then the other end. let me tell. however. and that's why these experiments are done on these air tracks.000 tuition.
I can't wait. Ready for this? Make me happy. The timer's not on? Has to be reset. I can never predict the times. absolutely fantastic! 223. Thank you. So now I'm going to burn off that wire. momentum afterwards is also zero. oh. and they have equal mass to within one gram. fantastic. I erased this . because now you really begin to test the conservation of momentum. oh. But the momentum of the system as a whole after I burn the wire will remain zero. but the times will be the same within the uncertainty of the measurements. They have no momentum. What do you see? You're going to make me unhappy? I better walk around. because if I make the spring more squeezed. 219 milliseconds. the other one in this direction. That is well within the uncertainties. 220. Kinetic energy will increase. The momentum before is zero. Now we're going to do an experiment whereby I'm going to make m2 twice the mass. Yeah. then obviously I will have more potential energy.. And so I put potential energy in the spring by pushing them together. And so the speeds of the cars will be higher.. I burn the wire..And here we have another one. If I repeat the experiment and I make the string shorter. The momentum of each one of those cars will change. What was the number. that's going to be interesting. And there is a spring between them. Some of you may be able to see it. and they are lined up now here. So I can never predict the time. They're now both zero. That's the potential energy from the spring. m2 is 488 plus or minus one gram. One will go in this direction. Now. But the velocities. I will get different primes.. you're sure? Okay. 219? 219 milliseconds and 223 milliseconds. And I'm going to attach now that string to hold them together.
And that's potential energy that goes into the spring. And so now you're going to see that one car will go twice as slow as the other. Momentum is zero. And this one equals. So it must give the more massive car half the speed than it gives the other car. 93 . There it is. So I have to bring them together again with a string.100... I do the work now.v2 prime divided by v1 prime equals m1 divided by m2. and I would like to make a prediction. What do you see? Ah! 406. and then we get a number and we get a number. there we go. I always do the work here in 26. I squeeze these springs. on your right is the 488. There is always an uncertainty in any measurement that you do. So I.. That's the only way that nature can conserve momentum. my car is here.00. I get paid for that. Oh. And this one is one mass. Nature can deal with kinetic energy one way or another. Kinetic energy is zero.. Where is my other car? Oh. And so we're going to redo this experiment now with a car here which is twice the mass.193. I do the work. All right? Make sure that.. by the way. but it cannot finagle momentum. 0.406is that what you see? Yeah? And 0. we'll measure T1 and then we'll measure T2.. and if we multiply this number by 2. I don't even need my calculator to multiply this by two. 193whoo! On the button! 406 and 193. so this is the 244. then I would like to get this number within the uncertainties of the measurements. And so twice the mass will get half the speed.. I have to zero the timers. Now.... and the one on the. I can even do that by heart. Nature has no choice. I would like to see. are the timers zero? Okay.
. the momentum remained zero. here.406. And the center of mass is defined as follows: the total mass of this object times the position vector of the center of mass is the sum. simply taking the first derivative. is the position vector of the center of mass. covering the entire object.. this is also 1 over m total times the total momentum. I take the derivative here. . you see. a total momentum. v center of massI find that by taking the derivative of this equationequals one over the mass total. r of i. This is the center of mass. They picked up kinetic energy. together. Now I change the topic. Close enough. The center of mass of a system is defined as follows: I have here some kind of an object not just a point mass. and that is that the total momentum of an object . that's exactly how you can demonstrate the conservation of momentum. I bring this on this side. for instance. which changes positions into velocities. because I've all these momenta of these individual particles. now. but it has a finite size. and then this is the position vector.. And so this is the sum of i. I pick any origin I want to.. but after the wire was burned. but you will see in a few weeks that it's really relatednot even a few weeksyou will see that it's really related to the conservation of momentum. They have a. And now I carve out a zillion little mass elements.. Now. The two are in excellent agreement within the 2?% uncertainty in each measurement.396. And let the center of mass be. And this. itimes the position vectors of the individual little particles that make up this object. summed over iover all these little elements. of mi vi. So. It could be something like thisa squash racquet. I'm going to explain to you now what we physicists mean by center of mass of a system.. It could be a hammer.. And so now you come to another very important statement in physics. It. m of i. You're totally free to choose this origindoesn't matter where you take it. it appears that I change the topic. and so here I get the sum of m of i times the dri/dt.
the center of mass. then if I throw this object up in 26. in any objectthat the center of mass behaves as if all the matter were together in one point. But the center of mass is just one smooth motion. That is very mysterious that there is one and only one point in any one of us in you. Then the center of mass. is the total external force. And if I take the derivative of this.the velocity of the center of mass. So the behavior of the center of mass is extremely predictable. the hammer may have this position.. If the external force on the squash racquet were zero. A little later in time. and so the center of mass will then keep its velocity unchanged. the hammer may have had this position. But the hammer itself may be tumbling. then dp/dt of the total momentumof which we learned that the total momentum. then the center of mass behaves as if a the mass of ll the entire squash racquet was right at that center of mass. then it would continue to go always with the same velocity.. But if I have here this squash racquet and here is the center of mass. because I take the derivative of this equation. dp/dt. would have a velocity that never changes. which could be a squash racquetis the total mass of that object times the velocity of the center of mass.which could be a hammer. and the velocity changes to acc eleration. And that means if the external force is zeroyou can go back to the upper line againif the external total force is zero. in me. It may start tumbling. And you take the derivative of that equation and you get F = ma. we already learned that earlierthat now is the total mass of the system times the acceleration of the center of mass. There's no acceleration. because if there's no external force then there is only a constant velocity. And so this is another quite important statement: For the center of mass.400. . but only the center of mass. whereas the behavior of the squash racquet is not. A little earlier in time. then the momentum of the system is conserved. This says F = ma. And look at this! This is really an amazing statement. That gives me dP/dt here. the total momentum is the total [no audio] . If I had here a hammerthis is a hammerand there were no external forcesI would be somewhere in outer spaceand it would have a certain velocity. as I will do later.
for those of you who have a good feeling for symmetry. It's a little bit complicated. I will take three masses which are held together by very unphysical. And so this will be the position vector r center of mass. plus this mass. r center of massI go all the way up there on the blackboard. where is the center of mass? So you have three point masses. I'll take a simple case. and here at zero I have a mass m. by massless rods.. And this i goes from one to three. Let this be the Y axis and this the X axis. So now I have that 4m times the x component of the center of mass equals this mass times the x component of its position vector. it sometimes pays off to split it into two componentsa y and to an x component. this is a vectorial equation. and they are connected with massless rods. Now. and here I have a mass m. At a distance l. So it is the sum of i m of i times r i. And so in the x direction. I won't take a hammer. Then I have three point masses and that makes my life a little easier. which is 2m times the x position. and the position vector to this object is zero. they would say certainly it has to lie somewhere on this line. Now. say. you can do exactly the same. the same equation holds for the x component of these vectors. so this is equilateral triangle. And I'm asking you.. which is onehalf l. . which is zero. That is fiveeighths l..Let's do one calculation to give you some experience on how you derive the center of mass. which is lso plus 2m times lplus this mass times the x component of this mass. I have here a mass 2m. My m goes and so I get that x center of mass equals 2? divided by four. And so now we can calculate the position of the center of mass as follows. Well. and this will be a position vector to this object. So that gives me plus onehalf m times l. This is also l and this is also l. there's my definition for center of mass equals the sum of the individual masses times their position vectors. in the y direction. of course. We know that the total mass. and the individual position vectors from the origin here will be this. which is 4m times the position vector.. so it will probably be somewhere here. And it's probably slanted in the direction of the 2m. These are massless rods. So we were not too far off where we put it. and whenever we have a vectorial equation.
Yes. very roughly. And so you see that we didn't put it in so badly. You may need a lot of imagination to see that.You can split it up into the position vector of this object. and that I can demonstrate for you again with the air track. of course.22L. This is. as we just did. momentum of the center of mass will not change only of the center of mass. and they keep going like this and making crazy things. because you're going to be distracted by the weird motion of the other two objects. I will turn on the air shortly because the air makes a lot of noise. And I think that's about 0. Not of this car. The objects have the same mass. If you have a car or if you have an object like this.. And so you can calculate the center of mass. It's about onefifth of this distance. So you're going to get that 4m times y of the center of mass equals this mass m times the y component of that position vector. and that is onehalf l square root of three. And it will be nearly impossible for us to evaluate the motion of these two cars individually. This is the center of mass. which is different from calculating it analytically. which is one half l square root three. So if you concentrate on that little object. if you have discrete points. and so you see that y center of mass then becomes the square root of three divided by eight times l.. This one has no y component and this one has no y component. That's the uniqueness of the center of mass. you may be able to see that. And they will oscillate in a weird way because they are connected with a spring and I keep them connected. so this is very easy. There we go. It's right in the middle. But if I give the whole system a certain velocity and then they go like this. And so you lose your m. . That's really not too hard. I will teach you in a few weeks a very easy way to determine experi entally where the m center of mass is locatedexperimentally. not of that car. We have a system here of two cars which I connected by a spring. It's about onefifth higher than this distance. And so the center of mass will just laugh at us and ignore all these motions and will travel at a constant speed very nicely. then it is. much harder to calculate the center of mass. So I mentioned to you that the motion of the center of mass is very uniform in the absence of external forces. these are two cars connected by a spring. and I will give these cars a certain motion and they will go in this direction.
well. From this one. Okay. When I throw up a hammer. but the center of mass will behave in a civilized way. the squash racquet may be like this.. Are the timers off? Yes. you would expect it to behave perfectly like a parabola. Forget the fact that it lights up. Beautifully! Constant velocity. and now look at that center of mass. I'll bring it out here again. Okay. If I show the whole thing in UV. The hammer will start to tumble and rotate.. and a little later. and when I then make it dark. it's not quite a tennis ball. Now at one point. And so we have here a squash racquet and we have here the center of mass.You see how complicated this motion is of the individual cars? Can you see that the center of mass is moving very uniformly. the center of mass. but close enough. dark. And then you can really see that the center of mass moves in a very civilized way. I have also here a regular. Let me throw this one up in light. I will do it with a squash racquetat one point the squash racquet may be like this. but the center of mass of the squash racquet will perfectly go along a parabola. timers are off? Okay. Hard to predict but the center of mass behaves decently. Let your eyes get used to the darkness. I will turn off all the lights and only turn on ultraviolet light. so you can enjoy this once more. I can let it go backwards. in the absence of external forces has a constant velocity. and you will see that it has very strange motion.. I'm going to do the same thing.. If I throw up a hammer... This one. But I will help you. then the center of mass and only the center of mass will just go along a perfect parabola as if it were just a tennis ball. it may be like this. and at another point. you will only see the motion of the center of mass. you think you can see that? You have a lot of imagination. you would not expect it to behave like a parabola. And ultraviolet light will interact with that little ball. So now I'm going to help you to concentrate. Center of mass motion. or can you not see that? Oh. then you will see the same kind of beautiful parabola as you would see with this ballsomething like this. . I will turn on. then the hammer will do very weird things. And we know that these cars are doing crazy things.
So now we're going to turn off the lights and I want to show you the motion of the center of mass. You see the center of mass here? Can you all see it? Okay. You ready? Concentrate only on the center of mass. there we go. Enjoy the presence of your parents.You remember it was the last lecture that I wanted to remind you of. Nice parabola or not? I'll do it again. Have a good weekend. You see the center of mass? Can you see it? You can still see it. See you Monday . right? Wonderful parabola for me! All right.