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Centre of Gravity (SMT-MM-15)
To establish the position of the centre of gravity of
different shapes by experiment, and compare with
The apparatus is a bench mounted unit with a free
standing backboard with a pin in it from which a
selection of flat shapes can be hung. A simple
plumb bob is suspended from the same pin.
6 shapes provided; a circle, isosceles triangle,
trapezium, L, T and semi-circle.
The centre of gravity of a shape of uniform thickness can easily be found by this method. It
provides a simple technique for complicated shapes, far quicker than by using calculus for
example, although not producing an accurate answer to the handling of a yacht, the
calculation of the moments caused by the wind and water acting at the ‘centre of lateral area’
of the sails and keel are still used as a starting point. A free standing backboard has a pin from
which a selection of flat shapes can be hung. A simple pendulum suspended from the pin
enables the line of action of the weight to be transferred to the lamina. The centre of gravity
is the position on the shape where two or more such lines intersect.