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Homework Help: Center of Mass of an irregularly shaped object

  1. Jan 23, 2008 #1
    [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. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2008 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    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.)
  4. Jan 23, 2008 #3
    :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!
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