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Homework Help: How to find the center of mass and unknown weight

  1. Apr 17, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A canoe of mass 38 kg lies at rest in still water. A man and a woman are at opposite ends of the canoe 4.0 m apart and symmetrically located with respect to the canoe’s centre (which is also its centre of mass). The mass of the man is 65 kg and the woman’s mass is smaller.

    The two people then change places and the man observes that the canoe shifts a distance 0.20 m relative to the water. What is the woman’s mass? [57 kg]

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm guessing the solution is found through a quadratic. I tried substituting in the know data for before and after the boat and making the position of the center of mass negative for the second equation but nothing seemed to help. I've done the problem 4 times and am no closer to solving it no matter how I visual the problem. I just can't seem to find the right answer
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2013 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Show your work in detail, please.

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