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How far from the end of the pier are you?

  1. Sep 12, 2010 #1
    1. You are standing at the very rear of a 6.0m long, 120kg raft that is at rest in a lake with its prow only .5m from the end of the pier. Your mass is 60kg. Neglect friction between the raft and the water. A) How far from the end of the pier is the center of mass of the you-raft system? B) You walk to the front of the raft and then stop. How far from the end of the pier is the center of mass now? C) When you are at the front of the raft, how far from the end of the pier are you?



    2. xcm= (m2*d)/(m2+m1)
    where m1 and m2 are mass one and mass two, xcm is center of mass, and d is the difference in position of the particles.



    3.A) By defining the pier as the origin and then I find the following equation. xcm= 60kg(5.5m)/180kg= 1.833m from the pier B) 60kg(0)/180kg = 0 C) .5m
    I thought I had A) and C) right, but B) makes me second guess myself. What did I miss here?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2010 #2

    ehild

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    The formula for xcm is wrong. You need to determine xcm with respect to the end of the pier.


    ehild
     
  4. Sep 13, 2010 #3
    Should it be xcm= (m2*d)/(m2+m1) + .5?
     
  5. Sep 13, 2010 #4

    ehild

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    This is the distance of the CM from the first particle if there are two particles d distance apart.

    What are the "particles" in this case, and what are their positions?

    ehild
     
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