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The Balance of Nature by Kyle Douglas Willette

1st Place - Natural Category

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School: Brunswick High School

Teacher: Heather Klein

This photo demonstrates the principles of center of mass, as a fallen tree has balanced itself across the stump of another. How the tree fell is unknown, but one can see how the weight is distributed evenly across the stump. With more of the tree’s length on the right side to balance out the greater girth, and therefore mass, on the left with the base of the tree. The physics behind the phenomenon is ultimately simple. The force due to gravity on either side of the pivot is equal. Due to the nonuniformity of the tree, the center of mass is clearly not the geometric center and could be calculated with simple calculus should the total mass and density of the tree be known.

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