The center of mass is an important feature of single objects, and perhaps even more important for collections of objects.
Now, when an object is a compact sphere, the center of mass is easy to find: it's just the geometric center of the body. But what happens if we need to find the center of mass of a system consisting of several objects?
" ... in projectile motion, the x-velocity remains constant while the y-velocity changes linearly with time. The trajectory of an object thus traces a parabolic curve ...."
don't seem to work if you pick any arbitrary part of an extended body. For example, if I toss a baseball bat up into the air, a movie might show this:
Speaking of real movies, look at this real motion of a sort of dumbbell-shaped object:
But how can we find the center of mass of an extended object?
Copyright © Michael Richmond. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.