We’ve been discussing center of mass in class recently. While this powerful idea extends well beyond its physical interpretation, it’s good to frame the conversation around the idea of balancing objects on their centroids.
One student was inspired by the claim that all physical objects have centroids, and that they can be found fairly easily. So he took a small plate of aluminum, drilled a bunch of random holes in it, and tried to find its center of mass.
He claimed he had done it. But how could we test his hypothesis? It seemed like there was only one way!
It took us a while, and a few attempts, but we were able to do it! It created a nice little challenge for us, and a nice physical experience with the center of mass.