Types of Equilibrium

Remember that we can think of any object as a rigid, massless shell with all its mass concentrated at the Center of Mass.

How does this effect the stability of an object?

If an object moves a little, what happens to its Center of Mass? Does it move up? Does it move down?

If a small movement lowers the CoM, the object is in unstable equilibrium.

If a small movement raises the CoM, the object us in stable equilibrium.

Center of Mass

Return ToC, Rotational Dynamics

(c) 2005, Doug Davis; all rights reserved