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APPENDIX

Center of mass theorems for systems of particles


The center of mass allows simplications for expressions for momentum, angular momentum, and kinetic energy. Furthermore, the energy equations for systems of particles provide foreshadowing for the rst law of thermodynamics.

C.1

Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass of a system of particles


*cm D r

The average position of mass in a system is at a point called the center-ofmass. The position of the center-of-mass is

P* m r
i

Multiplying through by

mtot, we get

mtot :
i

*cmmtot D X *i mi : r r

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Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

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By taking the time derivatives of the equation above, we get

*cmmtot D v *cmmtot D a

X* m X*
vi

and .

ai m i

for the velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass. The results above are useful for simplifying various momenta and energy expressions. Note, for example, that

* * P LD

LD

X* X*

vi mi

ai m i

D *cmmtot v *cmmtot : a
D

* Linear momentum L and its rate of change L


One of our three basic dynamics equations is linear momentum balance:

* P

X*
F

P L:

The rst quantity of interest in this section is the linear momentum


P L 1 whose derivative, L, with respect to a Newtonian frame is so important.

Linear momentum is a measure of the translational motion of a system.

linear momentum

summed over all the mass particles

Xm *
i vi

In Isaac Newtons language: 1


* *m
m*

mtot*cm v

(C.1)

Example: Center of Mass position, velocity, and acceleration A particle of mass A kg and another point of mass B kg have positions, respectively,

m h3

m h2
!

The quantity of motion is the measure of the same, arising from the velocity and quantity of matter conjointly. In other words, Newtons dynamics equations for a particle were based on the product of v and . This quantity, v, is now called L, the linear momentum of a particle.

    *A .t/ h 3{y g 5 t | m; and *B .t/ h 6 t 2 {y 4| y y r r s s2

"

due to forces that we do not discuss here. The position of the center-of-mass of the system of particles, according to equation 2.49 on page 121, is

Pm * i ri r r *cm .t/ h mA*A .t/ g mB*B .t/ r .mA mB g /

*cm .t/ h r

"

mtot D5 kg !! # 9 g 12 t 2 {y g 3  t  8  | m: 5 5 s2 s 5 y

To get the velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass, we differentiate the position of the center-of-mass once and twice, respectively, to get 2

        *cm .t/ h *cm .t/ h 24 t {y g 3 | m h 24 t {y g 3| m=s y y v r 5 s2 s 5 s       *cm .t/ h *cm .t/ h *cm .t/ h 24 1 {y m h 24 m=s2 {y: a v r 5 s2 5
Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

That is, particle A travels on the line 2

and

x h 3 m with constant speed rAy h 5 m=s and particle B travels on the line y h 4 m at changing speed rBx h 12t. m=s2 /.

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Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

In this example, the center-of-mass turns out to have constant acceleration in the x -direction.

* Some books use the symbol P for 3 *


linear momentum. Because P is often used to mean force or impulse and P for power we use L for linear momentum.

The second part of equation C.1 follows from the denition of the center-ofmass (see box C.1 on page 1002). 3 The total linear momentum of a system is the same as that of a particle that is located at the center-of-mass and which has mass equal to that of the whole system. The linear momentum is also given by

d 0. Thus, for a xed We only consider systems of xed mass, dt .mtot / mass system, the linear momentum of the system is equal to the total mass of the system times the derivative of the center-of-mass position. Finally, since the sum dening linear momentum can be grouped any which way (the associative rule of addition) the linear momentum can be found by dividing the system into parts and using the mass of those parts and v the center-of-mass motion of those parts. That is, the sum mi *i can be interpreted as the sum over the center-of-mass velocities and masses of the various subsystems, say the parts of a machine.

* d L D dt .mtot*cm/ : r

system I
L
Filename:tfigure3-2-2

system divided into subsystems


= =

Example: System Momentum See g. C.1 for a schematic example of the total momentum of system being made of the sum of the momenta of its two parts.

II

+ II

The reasoning for this allowed subdivision is similar to that for the center-ofmass in box 2.15 on page 127.

LI + LII

Figure C.1: System composed of two

* P *4 * P ics than just plain L The rate of change of linear momentum, L, is * P L


D D D D

The quantity L gures a little more directly in our presentation of dynam-

No slight of Sir Isaac is intended. 4

parts. The momentum of the whole is the sum of the momentums of the two parts.

* P L

d * L dt d v mi *i dt d* v mtot cm dt *cm mtot a

The last three equations could be thought of as the denition of L. That L d * turns out to be dt .L/ is, then, a derived result. Again, using the denition of center-of-mass, the total rate of change of linear momentum is the same as that of a particle that is located at the center of mass which has mass equal to that of the whole system. The rate of change of linear momentum is also given by

* P

* P

d * d P L D dt .mtot*cm/ D dt 2 .mtot*cm/: r v
2
Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

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The momentum L and its rate of change L can be expressed in terms of the total mass of a system and the motion of the center-of-mass. This simplication holds for any system, however complex, and any motion, however contorted and wild.

Angular momentum

After linear momentum balance, the second basic mechanics principle is angular momentum balance:

* H

and its rate of change

* H
P

XM *

C h

* H=C

where C is any point, preferably one that is xed in a Newtonian frame.If you choose your point C to be a moving point you may have the confusing problem that the quantity we would like to call tive of

* H=C.
d

* H=C is not the time deriva-

The rst quantity of interest in this sub-section is the angu-

* * H=C h H=C

lar momentum with respect to some point C,


=d t

* H=C, whose rate of change

is so important.

angular momentum.

X* * r v
* H=C


i=C mi i

summed over al l the mass particles

A useful theorem about angular momentum is the following (see box 13.11 on page 711), applicable to all systems angular momentum due to center-of-mass motion angular momentum relative to the center-of-mass

*

H=C h
*

v r v X r
ff x
cm=C cm mtot g
* *

i=cm

i=cm

mi :

(C.2)

ri=cm  ri rcm
* *

position of mi relative to the center-of-mass

velocity of mi relative to the center-of-mass

ff w

vi=cm  vi vcm
* *

A system of particles is shown in g. C.2. The angular momentum of any system is the same as that of a particle at its center-of-mass plus the angular momentum associated with motion relative to the center-of-mass. The angular momentum about point C is a measure of the average rotation rate of the system about point C. Angular momentum is not so intuitive as linear momentum for a number of reasons:


First, recall that linear momentum is the derivative of the total mass times the center-of-mass position. Unfortunately, in general, angular momentum is not the derivative of anything.
Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

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Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

 Second, the angular momentum of a given system at a given time depends on the reference point C. So there is not one single quantity that is the angular momentum. For different points C1 , C2 , etc., the same system has different angular momentums.  Finally, calculation of angular momentum involves a vector cross product and many beginning dynamics students are intimidated by vector cross products.
r i/cm

mi

r i/C r cm/C

cm

Despite these confusions, the concept of angular momentum allows the solution of many practical problems and eventually becomes somewhat intuitive. * * Actually, it is =C which is the more fundamental quantity. =C is what * * you use in the equation of motion. You can nd =C from =C as shown in the box on page 1007. But, in general,

C
Filename:tfigure3-ang-mom-bal

* H=C 

X* r

i=C . mi i /:

* a

Figure C.2: A system of particles show-

ing its center-of-mass and the i t h particle of mass mi . The i t h particle has position ri=cm with respect to the centerof-mass. The center-of-mass has position rcm=C with respect to the point C

* *

A useful theorem about rate of change of angular momentum is the following (see box 13.11 on page 711), applicable to all systems:

rate of change of angular momentum due to center of mass motion

* H=C h

* m * * m : Xr a * r a
ff x 
cm=C cm tot g i=cm i=cm i

rate of change of angular momentum relative to the center of mass

*i=cm  *i *cm r r r

*i=cm f *i *cm a a a

f w

This expression is completely analogous to equation C.2 on page 1005 and is derived in a manner nearly identical to that shown in box 13.11 on page 711. The rate of change of angular momentum of any system is the same as that of a particle at its center-of-mass plus the rate of change of angular momentum associated with motion relative to the center-of-mass. A special point for any system is, as we have mentioned, the center-of-mass. In the above equations for angular momentum we could take C to be a xed point in space that happens to coincide with the center-of-mass. In this case we would most * naturally dene cm h *=cm * dm with * being the absolute velocity. But we have the following theorem:

* Hcm h *=cm *dm h *=cm *=cm dm r v r v where *=cm h * *cm and *=cm h * *cm . Similarly, r r r v v v * H
cm

Rr

Z* r

* *=cm *=cm dm: r a =cm a dm h


Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

1007

with *=cm * *cm . That is, a a a the angular momentum and rate of change of angular momentum relative to the center-of-mass, dened in terms of the velocity and acceleration relative to the center-of-mass, are the same as the angular momentum and the rate of change of angular momentum dened in terms of a xed point in space that coincides with the center-of-mass. * The angular momentum relative to the center-of-mass Hcm can be calculated with all positions and velocities calculated relative to the center-ofmass. Similarly, the rate of change of angular momentum relative to the

center of mass Hcm can be calculated with all positions and accelerations calculated relative to the center-of-mass. Combining the results above we get the often used result:

X*

Mi=cm h Hcm

(C.3)

This formula is the version of angular momentum balance that many people think of as being basic. In this equation, Hcm can be found using either a the absolute acceleration * or the acceleration relative to the center-of-mass, * *=cm. The same Hcm is found both ways. In this book, we do not give a equation C.3 quite such central status as equations III where the reference point can be any point C not just the center-of-mass.

C.1 Relation between


The expression for =C follows from that for =C but requires a few steps of algebra to show. Like the rate of change of linear mo-

* * mentum, L, the derivative of L, the derivative of angular momentum


Starting with the denition of

* H

* H

d dt

* * H=C and H=C


H=C h
* *

X*

r i=C

.m * /; a
i i

must be taken with respect to a Newtonian frame in order to be useful in momentum balance equations. Note that since we assumed that C d is a point xed in a Newtonian frame that dt i=C h i=C h i .

* H=

h h

h h

X * r * X * v
i=C
d dt
i=C

d dt d dt

* H=

* H= , we can calculate as follows:

* r

* v

* v

We have used the fact that the product rule of differentiation works for cross products between vector-valued functions of time. This

X* r
C
i

H=C
*

nal formula, H=C

.mi i /

* v

plied in many special cases which we will discuss in this chapter and those that follow.

hR* r

i=C

h P * .m * /, or its integral form, r a * d m are always applicable. They can be sima


i=C i i i

.mi vi /

* g* r

i=C

d .m dt * / v
i i

d* dt r i=C

.mi vi /

g* .m r
i=C

d * dt

vi /

Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

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Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

Kinetic energy EK
The equation of mechanical energy balance (III) is:

D EK EP E :
P C P C P i nt

For discrete systems, the kinetic energy is calculated as

1 2
and its rate of change as

Xm v
i i

2 i

d 1X m v : dt 2
2 i

There is also a general result about the kinetic energy that takes advantage of the center-of-mass. The kinetic energy for any system in any motion can be decomposed into the sum of two terms. One is associated with the motion of the center-of-mass of the system and the other is associated with motion relative to the center-of-mass. Namely,

EK

1 1X mtot v C mv ; 2 2
2 cm 2 i i=cm

kinetic energy due to center-of-mass motion


D

1 m v 2
t ot

kinetic energy relative to the center-of-mass


C

ff w

2 cm

EK

=cm

where

EK

=cm

D D

1X mv 2Z 1 .v / dm 2
2 i i=cm 2 =cm

for discrete systems, and for continuous systems.

C.2 Using
You can nd the angular momentum
O

* H= relative to a xed point * C if you know the angular momentum H= relative to some other * xed point and also know the linear momentum of the system L
C O

* * * * H=O and H=O to nd H=C and H=C


P P
have:

* * r * H= h H= g *O=C L
C O

(which does not depend on the reference point). The result is:

* * r * H= h H= g *O=C L
C O

* F

The formula is similar to the formula for the effective moment of a system of forces that you learned in statics: C O=C O
tot . Similarly, for the rate of change of angular momentum we

* * r M h M g*

So once you have found and also =O with respect to some point O you can easily calculate the right hand sides of the momentum balance equations using any point C that you like.

* L

* H

Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

1009

The results above can be veried by direct expansion of the basic denitions of EK and the center-of-mass. To repeat, the kinetic energy of a system is the same as the kinetic energy of a particle with the systems mass at the center-of-mass plus kinetic energy due to motion relative to the center-of-mass.

Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

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Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

C.3 Deriving system momentum balance from the particle equations F h m* * Inside the front cover we asume that the linear and angular momena tum balance equations apply to arbitrary systems. Another approach all particles all external forces to mechanics is to use the equation
ext i i

* a F h m*

f w f

for every particle in the system and then derive the system linear and angular momentum balance equations. This derivation depends on the following assumptions 1. All bodies and systems are composed of point masses. 2. These point masses interact in a pair-wise manner. For every pair of point masses A and B the interaction force is equal and opposite and along the line connecting the point masses. We then look at any system, which we now assume is a system of point masses, and apply F a to every point mass and add the equations for all point masses in the system. For each point mass we can break the total force into two parts: 1) the interaction forces between the point mass and other point masses in the system, these forces are internal forces (F i nt ), and 2) the forces acting on the system from the outside, the external forces. The situation is shown for a three particle system below.

Only the external forces, the ones acting on the system from the outside.

That is, we have derived equation I in the front cover from F a for a point mass by assuming the system is composed of point masses with pair-wise equal and opposite forces.

* h m*

* h m*

System angular momentum balance


For any particle we can take the equation

* F hm * a
i

forces on particle i and take the cross product of both sides with the position of the particle relative to some point C:

F1ext
F 12

* r

i=C

P R

* r FS h*

i=C

m * : a
i i

forces on particle i

internal forces F3
ext

par t i cles

V P `* R Xr
i=C

Now we can add this equation up over all the particles to get

* a r FS h *

on par t i cle i

ff w

QW Y

i=C

m * : a
i i

* r=C F added up for

j
Filename:tfigure3-intandext

F 21

all forces on the system, internal and external

F2ext

But, by our pair-wise assumption, for every internal force there is an equal and opposite force with the same line of action. So all the internal forces drop out of this sum and we have:

System linear momentum balance


Now lets take the equation over all the particles.

all external forces

f w f

* r

i=C

* F h
ext i

* m * : r a
i=C i i

all particles

Q P R FS h m * * a all particles all particles each particle


i

F h m* for each particle and add * a


i

Only the external forces, the ones acting on the system from the outside.

ff w

The sum of all forces on the system, internal and external

Because all the internal forces come in cancelling pairs we can rewrite this equation as:

This equation is equation II, the system angular momentum balance equation (assuming we do not allow the application of any pure moments). The derivations above are classic and are found in essentially all mechanics books. However, it is more reasonable to take the system linear momentum balance and angular momentum balance as postulates. That way the subject of mechanics does not depend on the unrealistic view of matter being composed of point masses with pairwise equal-and-opposite forces. The real micro-scopic physics is more subtle than that.

Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

Chapter C. Theorems for Systems

C.1. Velocity and acceleration of the center-of-mass

1011

C.4 Rigid-object simplications


We have formulas for the motion quantities , , =C , and =C and K in terms of the positions, velocities, and accelerations of all of the mass bits in a system. Most often in this book we deal with the mechanics of rigid bodies, objects with negligible deformation. This assumed simplication means that the relative motions of the 23 or so atoms in a body are highly restricted. In fact, if one knows these ve vectors:

** * LLH

* H

10

The center-of-mass is not even on any point in the system and, although it represents the average position in the system, it does not move with any point on the system. On the other hand, for a rigid body, the center-of-mass is xed relative to the body as the body moves,

    

*cm , the position of the center-of-mass, r *cm , the velocity of the center-of-mass, v *cm , the acceleration of the center-of-mass a * !, the angular velocity of the body, and *, the angular acceleration of the body,

rig bod id y
Filename:tfigure2-tumbling1

then one can nd the position, velocity, and acceleration of every point on the body in terms of its position relative to the center-ofmass, =cm h cm . We also use cm , the moment of inertia matrix. For 2-D problems, cm is just a number. For 3-D problems, cm is a matrix; hence, the square brackets [ ], our notation for a matrix. These rigid-object concepts lead to a vast simplication over the alternative summing over 23 particles or so. and rate of Note that the formulas for linear momentum do not really look any simpler for change of linear momentum a rigid object than for the general case.

* * * r r r I I

10 * L

* L

even if the center-of-mass is not on the body, such as for this Lshaped object.

* L * L

h h

mtot*cm v *cm mtot a

tumbling

But, these expressions are actually simpler in the following sense. For a general system, when we write cm , we are talking about an abstract point that moves in a different way than any point on the system. For example, consider the linked arms below, tumbling in space.

* v

Filename:tfigure2-tumbling2

tumbling and distorting

In this case, the center-of-mass is not literally on the body but it is xed with respect to the body. If you were rigidly attached to the body and xed your gaze on the location of the center of mass, it would not waver in your view as the body, with you attached, tumbled wildly. In this sense the center-of-mass is xed on a rigid body even if not on the body at all.

center of mass of system


Filename:tfigure2-tumbling

Introduction to Statics and Dynamics, c Andy Ruina and Rudra Pratap 1992-2009.

id rig dy bo

tumbling