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EXPERIMENT NO.

4 CENTER OF GRAVITY
Objective: To find the center of gravity of an irregular shaped piece of cardboard

Materials: Iron stand and clamp 1 m string 1 set slotted masses 1 small nail Card board Scissors Knitting needle

Experimental Design:

Theory: The center of gravity of an object is the point where all of the weight of that object may be concentrated for the purpose of determining the torque gravity exerts on it. The weights of the infinitesimal mass particles making up a rigid object create torques about the objects center

of gravity. When an object is supported at its center of mass there is no net torque acting on the body and it will remain in static equilibrium. An easy way to determine the location of the center of mass of a rigid pole is to support the pole horizontally on one finger from each hand. Gently slide your fingers together. When your fingers meet, you will be at the center of mass at which time you can easily hold up the pole with only one finger as long as it can withstand the entire weight of the pole. Another method of finding the center of mass of a planar object is through the use of a plumb line. Suspend the mass from each vertex and trace the plumb lines location. Since the center of mass will fall below the suspension point (in order to reduce any torques from the objects weight) the center of mass will be at the intersection of all of the plumb lines. If the center of mass is a point within the objects actual structure, then the object can be balanced at that point. The object will also be free to rotate about that point. Procedures: CENTER OF GRAVITY OF A FLAT SHAPE 1. Cut from the card board a number of shapes, each having 4-5 holes punched around the edges (7 regular shapes and 3 irregular shapes). 2. Secure the needle in the clamp. The clamp should be about 45 cm above the surface of the bench or table. 3. Tie the small weight to one end of the fine string or thick thread to form a plumb line. Make a loop at the other end of the string so that plumb line is about 30 cm long. 4. Select one of the card board shapes. Insert the needle through one of the holes in the shape and secure the plumb line around the needle. 5. Use the pencil to make a series of dots marking the line taken by the plumb line on the surface of the card board shape. 6. Remove the plumb line and shape from the needle. Connect the dots showing the position of the plumb line to make a line. 7. Repeat the steps 3 to 5 using all the holes on the card board shape. You will than have a series of lines.

8. Attempt to balance the shape on a finger placed at the point where the lines intersect. 9. Repeat steps 3 to 7 for each card board shape. DATA and RESULTS