# Find the center of mass of a plate

## Homework Statement

Find the center of mass of the next plate if:
A) Is homogeneous
B) Its density per unit mass is ##\sigma=Axy##, where ##A## is a constant. ## Homework Equations

##X_{cm}=\frac{\int\sigma x dA}{\int\sigma dA}##
##Y_{cm}=\frac{\int\sigma y dA}{\int\sigma dA}##

## The Attempt at a Solution

I did part A) as is shown in the picture below:  Am I correct?
My main problem is with part B), I tried to do it as I did part A), I found ##X_{cm} without any problems, like this: But when I tried to find ##Y_{cm}## I got stucked with this:

##Y_{cm}=\frac{\int_{0}^7 \sigma ydA_1+ \int_{1}^7 \sigma ydA_2}{\int_{0}^7 \sigma dA_1 + \int_{1}^7 \sigma dA_2}=\frac{A\left[ \int_{0}^7 y^2\sqrt{y-1}dy + \int_{1}^7 y^2(y-1)dy\right]}{A\left[ \int_{0}^7 y\sqrt{y-1}dy + \int_{1}^7 y(y-1)dy\right]}##, but when I tried to integrate ##\int_{0}^7 y^2\sqrt{y-1}dy## and ##\int_{0}^7 y\sqrt{y-1}dy##, I ended up with imaginary numbers, what am I doing wrong? Hope you can help me.

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haruspex
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Think more carefully about what your ∫(x2+1).dx and ∫(x2+1)x.dx are actually measuring.

Think more carefully about what your ∫(x2+1).dx and ∫(x2+1)x.dx are actually measuring.
##\int (x^2+1)dx## is measuring the total area of the plate, while ##\int (x^2+1)xdx## is measuring the area of a small piece of the total area.

haruspex
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##\int (x^2+1)dx## is measuring the total area of the plate,
No.
Look at your diagram for the x>0 section. What is the length in the y direction of the strip width dx?

No.
Look at your diagram for the x>0 section. What is the length in the y direction of the strip width dx?
I think it would be ##7-(x^2+1)##, right?

haruspex
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I think it would be ##7-(x^2+1)##, right?
Right, so what should your integrals be?

Right, so what should your integrals be?
Oh, I see know, I was calculating the area underneath the curve, so I need to write ##7-x^2-1## instead to calculate the are between the line ##y=7## and the curve.
I think the integrals would be like this, am I correct? How would it be with ##Y_{cM}##?

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haruspex
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the integrals would be like this, am I correct?
How would it be with ##Y_{cM}##?
Please post a revised attempt. As a check, should it be more or less than 3.5?

I'm trying to solve it. The length in the x direction of the strip width dy would be ##x##, right? And ##x=\sqrt{y-1}##.
As a check, should it be more or less than 3.5?
I think that it should be less than 3.5, but not too much.

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haruspex
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I think that it should be less than 3.5, but not too much.
Consider the two parts separately. How would the two y coordinates of the mass centres compare with 3.5 individually?

Consider the two parts separately. How would the two y coordinates of the mass centres compare with 3.5 individually?
Well, the coordinates of the mass center of the rectangle would be ##(2.5,3.5)## and for the parabola, I guess the would be less.

The length in the x direction of the strip width dy would be ##x##, right? And ##x=\sqrt{y-1}##.
@haruspex Am I correct with this?

haruspex
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I'm trying to solve it. The length in the x direction of the strip width dy would be ##x##, right? And ##x=\sqrt{y-1}##.
Yes, but only for y in a certain range.
for the parabola, I guess the would be less.
The y coordinate would be less? Doesn't look that way to me.

Yes, but only for y in a certain range.
Yes, y would be between 1 and 7. So is my calculation of ##Y_{cm}## correct?
The y coordinate would be less? Doesn't look that way to me.
Well, then I think I didn't understand the question.

haruspex
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Well, then I think I didn't understand the question.
Consider the complete rectangle, 2x7, with lower left corner at the origin. The y coordinate of its mass centre would be 3.5, yes? To get the actual shape you have to trim off the piece below the parabola. Wouid that raise or lower the mass centre?

Consider the complete rectangle, 2x7, with lower left corner at the origin. The y coordinate of its mass centre would be 3.5, yes? To get the actual shape you have to trim off the piece below the parabola. Wouid that raise or lower the mass centre?
That would raise the center of mass, so the y component would be greater than 3.5.

haruspex
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That would raise the center of mass, so the y component would be greater than 3.5.
Right.

Right.
Ok, so am I correct with how I calculated ##Y_{cm}## initially?
Also, how do I calculate the center of mass when the density isn't constant, i.e. part B)? I tried to solve it as I did with part A, but ##Y_{cm}## gives me imaginary numbers.

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haruspex
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so am I correct with how I calculated ##Yc_{cm} ##initially?
Since you got a value <3.5, no. The method looks ok so there must be an arithmetical error.
By the way, for both x and y coordinate of CoM, the denominator is the area of the plate, so you don’t need to calculate that twice.

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Since you got a value <3.5, no.
I think I know the problem. Do you see that I got a different value in the total mass integral? The problem is in the parabola, since I got 35 for the rectangle for both ##X_{cm}## and ##Y_{cm}##. The problem is that the equatio of the parabola ##y=x^2+1## isn't complete with ##x\in[0,2]##. So when I integrate ##\int_{0}^2 6-x^2 dx## I'm not getting the whole area, while when I integrate ##\int_{1}^7 \sqrt{y-1}dy## I'm indeed getting the whole area. This can be seen here:  How can I fix this? The only way I can think of would be to change the upper limit on ##X_cm## with 2.449 instead of 2.

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haruspex
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I think I know the problem. Do you see that I got a different value in the total mass integral? The problem is in the parabola, since I got 35 for the rectangle for both ##X_{cm}## and ##Y_{cm}##. The problem is that the equatio of the parabola ##y=x^2+1## isn't complete with ##x\in[0,2]##.
Ha! The problem is that the given diagram is wrong! At x=2, x2+1 is only 5, not 7.
My guess is that the distances 5 and 7 are swapped over. The plate should be 5cm high and 7+2cm wide. That fits better with the way it is drawn.

Ha! The problem is that the given diagram is wrong! At x=2, x2+1 is only 5, not 7.
My guess is that the distances 5 and 7 are swapped over. The plate should be 5cm high and 7+2cm wide. That fits better with the way it is drawn.
Yes you're right. That would be a big change though, I'll try to do it. Also, how should I solve the part where the plate isn't himoghomoge?

haruspex
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Yes you're right. That would be a big change though, I'll try to do it. Also, how should I solve the part where the plate isn't himoghomoge?
It's just the same but replacing constant σ with Axy. Post what you get.

It's just the same but replacing constant σ with Axy. Post what you get.
I'll post as soon as I finish calculating with the correct measurements.

@haruspex Ok, this is what I got:
Part A): For part B) I had the same problem, I ended up with a integral ##7\int_{0}^5 \sqrt{y-1}dy## and ##7\int_{0}^5 \sqrt{y-1}ydy## and on both I will get imaginary numbers, what am I doing wrong? #### Attachments

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