Center of Mass Balancing Question

  • #1
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The question is:
The orange and blue cat are currently balanced on the see saw. The orange cat then eats a bird, which of the following could make the see saw balanced again?
- I attached the picture that the question is referencing.

And the possible answers are:
  • A. Orange cat stays at same location and blue cat walks closer to the fulcrum.
  • B. Blue cat stays at same location and orange cat walks away from the fulcrum
  • C. Orange cat stays at same location and blue cat walks away from the fulcrum.

    I am confused because after everything I learned in class I assumed the answer would be that the orange cat should move closer to the fulcrum. But clearly that isn't it because its not an option. But then I was thinking that the blue cat was already heavier than the orange cat since in order for them to currently balance on the see saw the blue cat was closer which would mean that the orange cat should possibly more farther away? So I am still confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Bystander
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What is an equivalent
orange cat should move closer to the fulcrum.
rearrangement?
 
  • #3
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What is an equivalent
rearrangement?
The blue cat moving away from the fulcrum?
 
  • #4
Bystander
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Think, please.
 
  • #5
haruspex
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The question is:
The orange and blue cat are currently balanced on the see saw. The orange cat then eats a bird, which of the following could make the see saw balanced again?
- I attached the picture that the question is referencing.

And the possible answers are:
  • A. Orange cat stays at same location and blue cat walks closer to the fulcrum.
  • B. Blue cat stays at same location and orange cat walks away from the fulcrum
  • C. Orange cat stays at same location and blue cat walks away from the fulcrum.

    I am confused because after everything I learned in class I assumed the answer would be that the orange cat should move closer to the fulcrum. But clearly that isn't it because its not an option. But then I was thinking that the blue cat was already heavier than the orange cat since in order for them to currently balance on the see saw the blue cat was closer which would mean that the orange cat should possibly more farther away? So I am still confused. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If nobody moves, which way will the seesaw tip?
 
  • #6
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If nobody moves, which way will the seesaw tip?
Will the see saw tip towards the orange cat?
 
  • #7
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Will the see saw tip towards the orange cat?
Yes.

Now think about torque.
Torque is force times distance from the fulcrum. Here force is, of course, the weight of each cat. Balancing see-saw means torque of both cats should cancel.
 
  • #8
Ray Vickson
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Will the see saw tip towards the orange cat?
Instead of asking us, you should tell us. Think about it: the orange cat now weighs more than before!
 

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