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Mass of an Object

  1. Sep 18, 2014 #1
    For center of mass problems, it's possible to use a variable mass distribution. For a half cylinder, I've been looking at different mass distributions (constant, 1/r, 1/r^2, etc.) My teacher pointed out that at some point it runs into problems. I found that this was the case at 1/r^3, as you evaluate ln(r) from 0 to R, which gives infinite mass. Could someone please provide a physical explanation as to why this is so different from 1/r^2? (Which gives half the diameter times the charge density magnitude, by the way).

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 18, 2014 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    You did the maths - didn't you notice the difference during the calculation?
    Your teacher pointed out that "it" runs into problems.... what is "it"?
  4. Sep 20, 2014 #3
    The math shows the theoretical distributions of mass, not necessary to be physically possible for any power of 1/r. So it's really a matter of discussing what actual densities are possible. You also asked to give a physical explanation to a seemingly math confusion, so you may want to specify what your asking.
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