Register to reply 
Center of Mass Problemby sweatband
Tags: mass 
Share this thread: 
#1
Nov207, 03:02 PM

P: 16

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
Consider a system of two blocks that have masses m_1 and m_2. Assume that the blocks are pointlike particles and are located along the x axis at the coordinates x_1 and x_2. In this problem, the blocks can only move along the x axis. Find the x coordinate of the center of mass of the system. 2. Relevant equations The solution is ( [tex]\((m1x1 + m2x2)/(m1 + m2)[/tex], but I cannot for the life of me understand why this is exactly. Why multiply the mass by the xcoordinate of its location? 3. The attempt at a solution 


#2
Nov207, 03:06 PM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 4,738

What is the general formula / definition of center of mass ?



#3
Nov207, 03:07 PM

Mentor
P: 41,543

Are you questioning the definition of center of mass? Maybe this brief discussion will help: Center of Mass



#4
Nov207, 03:08 PM

P: 16

Center of Mass Problem
Center of mass: The point that represents the "average" position of the entire mass of a system.



#5
Nov207, 03:09 PM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 4,738

See the link that Doc Al posted. 


#6
Nov207, 03:10 PM

P: 16

What I don't understand is the algebra of arriving at that equation, and thanks for that link, Doc Al, I'm looking over it now



#7
Nov207, 03:12 PM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 4,738

Well the thing is that the definition is purley mathametical, and trying to explain it in words are just secondary. The definition of center of mass is the formulas that is posted on that link. 


#8
Nov207, 03:13 PM

P: 16

Awsome, the link answers my all my questions, thanks guys!



#9
Nov207, 03:14 PM

Sci Advisor
HW Helper
P: 4,738




Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Center of mass problem?  Introductory Physics Homework  3  
Center of Mass problem.  Introductory Physics Homework  7  
Mass center problem  Introductory Physics Homework  3  
Help with problem of Center of mass, linear mass density and total mass  Introductory Physics Homework  1  
Center of Mass problem  Introductory Physics Homework  5 