Center of Gravity vs. Center of Mass

Difference Between Center of Gravity and Center of Mass

Center of mass and Center of gravity are concepts of physics. Center of gravity is the place where the weight of an object is located while Center of mass is the location of mass of a body. The confusion between these two concepts is because of the fact that for a rigid body the center of mass and center of gravity are same because we consider the gravity of earth to be same at every point on earth and this means that the weight and mass of any body will be same on earth.

Center of mass and gravity can be same only on earth. The places where gravitational field is non-uniform, these would be different. On an artificial satellite where the gravitational forces are not same, the center of gravity is the average location of the gravitational force on the satellite. Center of mass does not change and it is fixed for each body.

Center of mass and center of gravity do not coincide and this concept is used in making designer and sports cars.  These cars are expected to have better balance and this is why the car makers try to keep low center of mass.

High jumpers also use this concept while performing Fosbury Flop. They bend their body in a way so that their body can clear the bar even if center of mass of the body doesn’t clear it.


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