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Found in: Page 230

### Physics Principles with Applications

Book edition 7th
Author(s) Douglas C. Giancoli
Pages 978 pages
ISBN 978-0321625922

## Which configuration of bricks, Fig. 9–39a or Fig. 9–39b, is the more likely to be stable? Why?

The configuration of bricks is more likely to be stable in figure (b).

See the step by step solution

## Step 1: Understanding the center of gravity and torque

When the center of gravity of a specific system is not above the base of support, it will apply torque to rotate the system.

## Step 2: Explanation for the configurations of the bricks in figures (a) and (b)

In figure (a), the bottom brick's center of gravity is at the edge, whereas the top brick has the center of gravity to the right of the table's edge. Due to this, the force of gravity will exert torque on the bricks to roll clockwise off the table.

In figure (b), exactly three-fourth of the mass of the top brick is at the edge of the table, whereas one-fourth of the mass of the bottom brick is at the edge of the table. So, their center of gravity is at the edge of the table.

Therefore, figure (b) is more stable.