# Center of Mass of an irregularly shaped object

1. Jan 23, 2008

### tseryan

[SOLVED] Center of Mass of an irregularly shaped object

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

A uniform piece of sheet steel is shaped as shown:
____
| __|
| |__
|___|

Compute the x and y coordinates of the center of mass of the piece.

The sketch above isn't very good but its a graph with an X and Y axis in increments of 10 (from 0-30) and the shape is a C with the bottom length one block longer (6 blocks total).

2. Relevant equations

I know of m1x1+m2x2 etc../ m1+m2 etc... but this problem doesn't seem to follow that.

3. The attempt at a solution

No idea how to do an object other than having the object and doing the line test.

Thanks for any help!

Last edited: Jan 23, 2008
2. Jan 23, 2008

### Staff: Mentor

Can you find the center of mass of a rectangle? If so, treat this object as a collection of rectangles. (Then you can use that equation to find the center of mass of the entire object.)

3. Jan 23, 2008

### tseryan

:D That worked! Each block was a square, so I simply found the center of each and treated it like a system of six particles. I used the equation above by setting the mass of each particle to one (uniform piece of steel) and got the same answers as in the back of the textbook. I can't thank you enough Doc Al! This problem was driving me crazy!