Centre of Gravity Questions

In physical science, the centre of gravity is an imaginary point or collection of points in a body where the total body weight could be concentrated. The idea is helpful in creating statistic structures or anticipating a moving object’s behaviour, when it is triggered by gravity.

In a homogeneous gravitational field, the centre of mass is similar to the centre of gravity. The two points need not always coincide. The centre of mass of the Moon is very near to its geometric centre. On the other hand, its centre of gravity is slightly positioned towards the Earth. This happens because of the heavier gravitational force on the near side of the Moon.

The position of an object’s centre of gravity could coincide with the object’s geometric centre, particularly in an asymmetrically configured body made of homogeneous material. However, an asymmetrical body composed of different materials with varied masses is likely to possess a centre of gravity positioned at some distance from the body’s geometric centre. In the cases of irregularly shaped objects or hollow bodies, the centre of gravity may exist in space at a point external to the physical body.

There are some fundamental differences between the centre of gravity and the centre of mass. It is quite common to assume the centre of gravity and the centre of mass to be the same, but this is not true. The centre of gravity is a point in a body where weight distribution is equal in all directions. It depends on the gravitational field. The centre of mass is a point where mass distribution is uniform in all directions. It does not rely on the gravitational field. However, a body’s centre of gravity and centre of mass is positioned at the same point in a homogeneous gravitational field.

The centre of gravity is a vital concept in determining a body’s structural stability. It’s the reason why a big object cannot be easily placed on a smaller body. It is also the cause of why an uneven body is much more difficult to balance on a structure. Stability is high in bodies with a wide base and lower centre of gravity. The more top-heavy and taller a body is, the more chance it will tip over when it is tilted or nudged by force. When a bus is moving along a steep road, it might topple over, depending on the angle of the road.

The video explains the fundamental concepts of gravity.

Important Centre of Gravity Questions with Answers

1) What is meant by centre of gravity?

In physical science, the centre of gravity is an imaginary point or collection of points in a body where the total body weight could be concentrated. The idea is helpful in creating statistic structures or anticipating a moving object’s behaviour, when it is triggered by gravity.

2) What is the connection between the centre of gravity and the centre of mass in a uniform gravitational field?

In a homogeneous gravitational field, the centre of mass is similar to the centre of gravity. The two points need not always coincide.

3) Explain the nature of the Moon’s centre of mass and centre of gravity.

The centre of mass of the Moon is very near to its geometric centre. On the other hand, its centre of gravity is slightly positioned towards the Earth. This happens because of the heavier gravitational force on the near side of the Moon.

4) Why is the Moon’s centre of gravity positioned towards the Earth?

The Moon’s centre of gravity is placed towards the Earth because of the heavier gravitational force field on the near side of the Moon.

5) What are the differences between the centre of gravity and the centre of mass?

There are some fundamental differences between the centre of gravity and the centre of mass.

  • It is quite common to assume the centre of gravity and the centre of mass to be the same, but this is not true.
  • The centre of gravity is a point in a body where weight distribution is equal in all directions. It depends on the gravitational field.
  • The centre of mass is a point where mass distribution is uniform in all directions. It does not rely on the gravitational field. However, a body’s centre of gravity and centre of mass is positioned at the same point in a homogeneous gravitational field.

6) The _____ is a point in a body where weight distribution is equal in all directions.

Answer: centre of gravity

Explanation: The centre of gravity is a point in a body where weight distribution is equal in all directions.

7) The _____ is a point where mass distribution is uniform in all directions.

Answer: centre of mass

Explanation: The centre of mass is a point where mass distribution is uniform in all directions.

8) What is the relationship between the centre of gravity and the stability of a structure?

The centre of gravity is a vital concept in determining a body’s structural stability. It’s the reason why a big object cannot be easily placed on a smaller body. It is also the cause of why an uneven body is much more difficult to balance on a structure. Stability is high in bodies with a wide base and lower centre of gravity. The more top-heavy and taller a body is, the more chance it will tip over when it is tilted or nudged by force. When a bus is moving along a steep road, it might topple over, depending on the angle of the road.

9) What is the relationship between the centre of gravity and the geometric centre of a body?

The position of an object’s centre of gravity could coincide with the object’s geometric centre, particularly in an asymmetrically configured body made of homogeneous material. However, an asymmetrical body composed of different materials with varied masses is likely to possess a centre of gravity positioned at some distance away from the body’s geometric centre. In the cases of irregularly shaped objects or hollow bodies, the centre of gravity may exist in space at a point external to the physical body.

10) In the cases of irregularly shaped objects or hollow bodies, the _____ may exist in space at a point external to the physical body.

Answer: centre of gravity

Explanation: In the cases of irregularly shaped objects or hollow bodies, the centre of gravity may exist in space at a point external to the physical body.

Practice Questions

1) What is meant by a geometric centre?

2) What are the factors that control the centre of gravity?

3) What are the factors that contribute to the centre of mass?

4) What is the relationship between the centre of mass and the centre of gravity in a uniform gravitational field?

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