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# PHYS 2210 Fall 2015

GA10 Solutions

Problem 1

## Center of Mass: Romeo and Juliet

Romeo, who is sitting in the rear of their boat in still water, entertains Juliet by playing his guitar.
After the serenade, Juliet, who was sitting in the front of the boat, carefully moves to the rear to
plant a kiss on Romeos cheek. The 80-kg boat is facing shore and the 55-kg Juliet moves 2.7 m
towards the 77-kg Romeo. Assume there is no friction/drag between the boat and the water.
How far does the boat move? Does it move toward or away from the shore?

Solution
Begin by drawing a diagram of the situation and establishing a coordinate system:

Calculate the center of mass of the system before Juliet moves to the end of the boat:
XCM =

N
1 X
m i xi
Mtot

(1)

mj xj + mb xb + mr xr
mj + mb + mr
mj (0) + mb (L/2) + mr (L)
=
mj + mb + mr
mb /2 + mr
.
=L
mj + mb + mr
=

(2)
(3)
(4)

2
After Juliet walks to the end of the boat, the center of mass of the system cannot move since
the net external force on the whole system is zero.
The final situation looks like this, where is the distance the boat moves:

Now write an expression for the new center of mass of the system and equate that to the
original center of mass:
mj x0j + mb x0b + mr x0r
mj + mb + mr
mj (x0b + L/2) + mb x0b + mr (x0b + L/2)
mb /2 + mr
L
=
mj + mb + mr
mj + mb + mr
0
XCM
= XCM =

## L(mb /2 + mr ) = mj (L/2 + L/2) + mb (L/2 ) + mr (L/2 + L/2)

= mj (L ) + mb (L/2 ) + mr (L )

= L(mj + mb /2 + mr ) (mj + mb + mr )

## (mj + mb + mr ) = L(mj + mb /2 + mr ) L(mb /2 + mr )

mj
=L
mj + mb + mr
55
= 0.70 m towards shore.
= (2.7 m)
55 + 80 + 77

Problem 2

(5)
(6)
(7)
(8)
(9)
(10)
(11)
(12)

## Center of Mass: Run the Plank

In frozen Minnesota the Winter Sports Carnival includes some unusual events. Since it is dangerous
to run on ice, each runner runs on a heavy (240 kg) and long (40 m) wooden plank, which itself
rests on the smooth and horizontal ice. One of the competitors is a 60-kg woman who runs the
length of the plank in 4.4 seconds, quite an impressive time. Her performance is viewed by a crowd
huddled on the ice. The performance that they see is less impressive.
With what speed does the crowd see the woman moving?

PHYS 2210

Solution
When the woman starts to run, the situation looks like this:

xp = L/2

xw = 0

When the woman starts to run, the center of mass of the system (woman + plank) is:
mw xw + mp xp
mw + mp
mw (0) + mp (L/2)
=
mw + mp
mp
L
=
.
2 mw + mp

XCM =

(13)
(14)
(15)

During her run along the plank, XCM cannot move since there the net external force on the
system is zero (we are neglecting friction between the plank and ice). Thus as the woman
moves to the right, the plank moves to the left by an amount .
To the observers on the ice, the woman moves to the right a distance L in a time , so
her speed is (L )/ .

PHYS 2210

x0p = L/2

## x0w = x0p + L/2

x

Now write an expression for the center of mass of the system after the woman completes her
run. Since the center of mass doesnt move, then this can be equated to Xcm . Then solve for
L :
mw x0w + mp x0p
mw + mp
mp
mw (L/2 + L/2) + mp (L/2 )
L
=
2 mw + mp
mw + mp
L
mp = L(mw + mp /2) (mw + mp )
2
mw
= L
mw + mp


mw
L=L 1
mw + mp
mp
=L
mw + mp
240
= (40 m)
= 32 m.
60 + 240

0
XCM
= XCM =

(16)
(17)
(18)
(19)
(20)
(21)
(22)

So relative to the ice, the woman moves 32 m in 4.4 seconds, giving a speed of 32/4.4 = 7.27
m/s.
Relative to the plank, the womans speed is L/4.4 = 40/4.4 = 9.09 m/s.

PHYS 2210