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

Homework Help: Center of mass.

  1. Oct 28, 2012 #1
    What are (a) the x coordinate and (b) the y coordinate of the center of mass for the uniform plate? Since the plate is uniform, we can split it up into three rectangular pieces, with the mass of each piece being proportional to its area and its center of mass being at its geometric center. We’ll refer to the large 35 cm × 10 cm piece (shown to the left of the y axis in Fig. 9-38) as section 1; it has 63.6% of the total area and its center of mass is at (x1 ,y1) = (−5.0 cm, −2.5 cm). The top 20 cm × 5 cm piece (section 2, in the first quadrant) has 18.2% of the total area; its center of mass is at (x2,y2) = (10 cm, 12.5 cm). The bottom 10 cm x 10 cm piece (section 3) also has 18.2% of the total area; its center of mass is at (x3,y3) = (5 cm, −15 cm).

    (a) xcom = (0.636)x1 + (0.182)x2 + (0.182)x3 = – 0.45 cm
    (b)ycom = (0.636)y1 + (0.182)y2 + (0.182)y3 = – 2.0 cm

    Correct me if I am wrong and please explain the right answer to me. xcom = m(x1) + m(x2) + m(x3) right? So what I am not understanding is how .636 is = m which stands for mass right?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 28, 2012 #2
    You aren't given the mass for any of the pieces, but you were given the percentage of total area. You were told each that it was a uniform plate, so the the mass and area are proportional. Part of finding the center of mass is dividing by the total mass, so you are just given the fraction to begin with and you won't have to divide.
  4. Oct 28, 2012 #3
    The fraction being the 63.4% or the other %'s of the total area respectively?
  5. Oct 28, 2012 #4
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook