Posted by Kyle on Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 12:04pm.
You are holding a shopping basket at the grocery store with two 0.69kg cartons of cereal at the left end of the basket. The basket is 0.90 m long. Where should you place a 1.8kg half gallon of milk, relative to the left end of the basket, so that the center of mass of your groceries is at the center of the basket?

physics  drwls, Wednesday, March 17, 2010 at 12:43pm
The sum of the moments about the center of the basket must be zero. That means the moment due to the cereal boxes and the moment due to the milk must be equal and opposite.
"Moment" means weight (or mass) multiplied by the lever arm.
2*0.69*0.45 = 1.8 * X
Solve for X, which is the distance of the milk, measured to the right of center
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