Physics Lesson 6.1.5 - More Stable and Less Stable within Neutral

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Welcome to our Physics lesson on More Stable and Less Stable within Neutral, this is the fifth lesson of our suite of physics lessons covering the topic of Centre of Mass. Types of Equilibrium, you can find links to the other lessons within this tutorial and access additional physics learning resources below this lesson.

More Stable and Less Stable within Neutral

Consider a cuboid or a cylinder. They both represent examples of neutral equilibrium in all positions because centre of gravity is at the same level as half of object's height. However, there is a big difference regarding the equilibrium of these object dictated by the position in which they are placed on the ground, although in all cases this equilibrium is neutral. Look at the figures below.

Physics Tutorials: This image provides visual information for the physics tutorial Centre of Mass. Types of Equilibrium

In both figures the equilibrium is neutral because the centre of gravity is at halh of the height. However, if the object is placed as shown in the first figure, it is more stable than if it is placed as shown in the second figure because in the first case, the centre of gravity is nearer to the ground. Therefore, there exists a kind of classification regarding stability even within the same category of equilibrium.

In summary, the equilibrium or stability of objects depends of three factors:

  1. The position of centre of mass in respect to half of an object's height (stable, unstable, neutral),
  2. The position of normal line drawn drawn from the centre of mass in respect to the object's base [inside the base - stable (the object stands still), outside the base - unstable (the object falls down)], and
  3. The position of centre of gravity in respect to the ground (higher the centre of gravity, less stable the object is).

You have reached the end of Physics lesson 6.1.5 More Stable and Less Stable within Neutral. There are 6 lessons in this physics tutorial covering Centre of Mass. Types of Equilibrium, you can access all the lessons from this tutorial below.

More Centre of Mass. Types of Equilibrium Lessons and Learning Resources

Centre of Mass and Linear Momentum Learning Material
Tutorial IDPhysics Tutorial TitleTutorialVideo
Tutorial
Revision
Notes
Revision
Questions
6.1Centre of Mass. Types of Equilibrium
Lesson IDPhysics Lesson TitleLessonVideo
Lesson
6.1.1What is Centre of Mass?
6.1.2How to Determine the Centre of Mass in Objects?
6.1.3Types of Equilibrium
6.1.4When Does an Object Start Falling Sideways?
6.1.5More Stable and Less Stable within Neutral
6.1.6The Importance of Centre of Mass in Physics

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