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The Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton did some amazing things on the uneven parallel bars. A friend tells you that careful analysis of films of Retton's exploits shows that, no matter what she does, her center of mass is above her point(s) of support at all times, as required by the laws of physics. Comment on your friend's statement.

The Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton did some amazing things on the uneven parallel bars. A friend tells you that careful analysis of films of Retton's exploits shows that, no matter what she does, her center of mass is above her point(s) of support at all times, as required by the laws of physics. Comment on your friend's statement.

Grade:10

1 Answers

Jitender Pal
askIITians Faculty 365 Points
6 years ago
To maintain the balance in any gymnastic move, the gymnast center of mass must always lies above and within the area bounded by her points of support. For example, if the gymnast tries to stand upside down using her hands, her center of mass must lie exactly above the supporting points (where her hands touches the surface). This will ensure that no net torque is experienced by her, and she does not wobble.
However, if by any chance, her center of mass aligns out of the line passing through the support points, she will be pulled by the gravity and rotate.
Therefore, to stay in a balanced position, the argument of friend is of importance, but if one uses a move to stay out of balance, the condition stated can be falsified.

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