Questions & Answers

What is the difference between the center of gravity and the center of mass?

Answer Verified Verified
- Hint: In these types of queries, the definition of center of gravity and center of mass, such as the similarities/differences between them and the properties of center of mass and center of gravity should be considered.

Complete step-by-step solution:
The center of mass can be defined as it is a fixed location relative to an object or group of objects. This is the average position of all elements of the system, weighted by their masses.
An object's center of gravity can be defined as the position where weight is spread equally and both sides are in equilibrium. The center of gravity of a human being will shift when he takes multiple locations, but in most other objects it is a constant location.
Mass center and center of gravity are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. For example, if you drop a bowling ball, the force of gravity will cause it to fall to the ground. If you have the same quantity of mass on your right as you have on your left and the same quantity above that you have below and the same quantity in front as you have behind you, then you must be in the center of mass. The bowling ball also has a center of gravity, the point at which gravity appears to be at work, or in other words, it is the total of all the gravity forces on all of the object's particles.

Note: In the above question there can be a case where the center of mass and center of gravity is pretty much in the same position for the bowling ball but they're NOT the same. It turns out that they are only the same when the gravitational field across the object is uniform.
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