Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

A stick in space

  1. Sep 7, 2013 #1


    User Avatar

    If there is a stick in space and you provide an impulse on one end of the stick, then will it rotate or will it simply undergo translational motion in a straight line?

    If you have the stick on earth on top of a surface then it will rotate about its centre of mass which acts as the pivot. However in space, in the absence of a gravitational field or friction I'd imagine that there is no obvious pivot point which means that the stick will just travel in a straight line in the direction the impulse was in. Am I right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 7, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    It will rotate. You have provided both a force and a torque, so it will rotate. Also, objects still have a center of mass, even if they are not in a gravitational field.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: A stick in space
  1. Water sticks. (Replies: 3)

  2. Hockey stick data (Replies: 4)

  3. Stick and waves (Replies: 2)