This assignment helps students work with the concept of center of mass. The student is asked to draw a picture of a system, make a guess as to the location of the center of mass, and then calculate it. Then, the student is asked to calculate the center of mass of a system of particles in two dimensions. Finally, the student is asked to find the center of mass of a symmetric system of uniform rods.
This is appropriate for a high school physics course. I usually use it as either an in-class activity or as homework soon after I introduce the concept of center of mass. It could also be used as a review of the concept of center of mass for an AP Physics course. Center of mass is also tested on the SAT 2 Physics Subject Test.
This homework is included in the complete lesson on Center of Mass
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A detailed answer key is provided.