What is Center of Gravity

How this basic geometric property determines how stable an object is?

An object’s mass is defined as the amount of matter within the object. The more matter present the higher the mass will be, and vice versa. However, the mass of all objects is said to act around one point that is known as the center of gravity. It is around this point that the object can balance, but also where its weight is exerted downwards. In some instances, such as in a horseshoe, the center of mass is located outside the object’s boundaries.

The position of the center of gravity determines how stable something is.

Once the center of gravity has moved beyond the base area of an object, it will no longer be stable and it will fall to Earth under the force of gravity.

Something with a wide base and low height, such as a Formula 1 car, has a very low center of gravity in relation to the rest of the object. This means it is very stable and a large force must be applied to tip it over.

In contrast, a tall object with a narrow base, such as a bookcase, will have a high center of gravity and thus only a small force applied towards the top of the object is required to topple it over.