The centre of mass of a mass distribution in space, which is also known as the balancing point, is the unique location in physics at which weighted relative position of both the dispersed mass accumulates to zero. A force can be applied to this location in order to induce a linear acceleration without causing an angular acceleration. When expressed with regard to the centre of mass, mechanics computations are frequently simplified. It proves to be a hypothetical point at which an object’s total mass might be considered to be concentrated in order to visualise its motion.
The Centre of Mass
In the situation of a sole rigid body, the centre of mass is fixed in reference to the body, but it will be positioned at the centroid if the body has uniform density. Outside the physical body, the centre of gravity of empty or ajar objects, such as a horseshoe, can sometimes be located. The centre of mass might mismatch to the position of any one member of the system in the event of a distribution of independent bodies, such as the planets of the Solar System. The centre of mass is a helpful reference point for mechanics calculations involving masses scattered in space, such as planetary bodies’ linear and angular momentum and rigid body dynamics. In orbital mechanics, the kinematics of planets are expressed as point masses centred at their centres of mass. The centre of mass frame is an electromagnetic frame wherein the centre of mass of an unit is at rest in regard to the source of the coordinate system.
Archimedes of Syracuse, an ancient Greek mathematician, scientist, and engineer, researched the topic of centre of gravity or weight extensively. He arrived at the mathematical characteristics of what we now term the centre of mass by working with reduced gravity assumptions that amounted to a uniform field. The tension exerted on a lever by weights resting at various positions along the lever is the same as if all of the weights were pushed to a single point—their centre of mass—as Archimedes demonstrated. Archimedes established in his essay On Floating Bodies that the best orientation for a floating item is one that keeps its centre of mass as low as feasible. He devised mathematical methods for locating the centres of mass of uniformly dense objects of various well-defined geometries. The center of gravity is a specific element in circle in the middle of a widespread distribution whose scaled position vectors sum to zero. Similarly the centre of mass is the mean position of a distribution of mass in space, the centre of mass is the mean location of a distribution of mass in space.
The Centre of Gravity
The centre of gravity of a body proves to be the point at which the torque caused by gravity forces gets disappeared. When a gravitational field is uniform, the mass-center as well as the center-of-gravity would be the same. In the absence of other torques given to a satellite in orbit around a planet, the tiny change (gradient) in gravitational field separating nearer (stronger) or further (relatively weak) the planet might result in a torque that will tend to align the satellite assuming that its long axis is straight. It’s critical to distinguish between both the center-of-gravity as well as the mass-center in this situation. Every horizontal distinction between the two will result in torque being applied.
It’s worth noting that the mass-center of a solid body (e.g., with no slosh or flexion) is a fixed attribute, whereas the center-of-gravity can change depending on its orientation in a non-uniform gravitational field. In the latter situation, the center-of-gravity will always be closer to the primary attractive body than the mass-center, changing its location in the body of interest as its orientation changes. Forces and moments needs to be resolved relative to the mass centre when studying the dynamics of aeroplanes, vehicles, and boats. The term “center-of-gravity” is a slang term for the mass-center, although it is widely used, and when gravity gradient effects are small, the terms “center-of-gravity” and “mass-center” are interchangeable. Examine the resultant of gravitational forces on a continuous body in physics to demonstrate the benefits of employing the centre of mass to describe a mass dispersion. Let us consider a body Q with a volume V and a density (r) at each location r. The force f at each point r in a parallel gravity field is given by, wherein dm is the mass at point r, g is gravity’s acceleration, and k is the vertical direction’s unit vector.