AP® Physics C: Mechanics

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Center of Mass of a Right Triangle


TOMIHIRO ONO. Created for Albert.io. Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.

A child constructs a right triangle out of cardboard. If you were to balance it so that its hypotenuse faced upwards and one edge was completely horizontal (as shown in the diagram), where along the bottom could you place the support to balance it? Assume the triangle is made out of a material that has uniform density.

Note: You could guess based on heuristics, but it would be better as a learning tool if you calculated and reasoned out the exact location.


Right in the middle of the horizontal leg.


$1/3$ of the way from the acute angle.


$1/3$ of the way from the vertical edge.


$h/b$ of the way from the vertical edge, where $h$ is the height of the triangle and $b$ is the length of the horizontal edge.


More information is needed about the dimensions of the triangle