NYU Physics Demos

Center of Mass: Tower

Topics: Mechanics - Center of Mass

Equipment: Wooden “leaning” tower with wooden top piece.

Setup: Place the wooden tower on its own on the slanted side, so it appears to lean. The tower will not fall over. Then place the wooden top on top of the tower, and the tower will fall over.

So long as the center of mass of the tower is above where the base makes contact with whatever surface it is on, the tower will not fall. When the top piece is placed on top, the center of mass shifts in the direction of where the tower is leaning, and is no longer above the base of the tower, causing it to fall.

Location: Shelf B-d2


Keywords: Lean, Topple, Gravity, Wood, Tilt

Back to General Physics I | Back to Physics I | Back to Dynamics | Back to Kinematics | Back to How Things Work