(Last edited: Saturday, 30 September 2023, 5:34 PM)

Source: Hoover, S. (2013, July 21). wikimedia commons. https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28974343

Short Definition:

Barycenter is a theoretical point that has several meanings according to the field in which it is employed:

In mathematics, this is the intersection point between the three medians of a triangle.

In statistics, this is the average of a set of numbers.

In physics, this is the center of mass of a system.

Detailed Definition:

The barycenter is a theoretical point usually with a mathematical value, which has different meanings depending on the field to which it is applied. From its etymology, Barycenter is usually used to express the center or average of a distribution of objects, values or data.

Originally, the mathematician and physicist Archimède introduced and described the notion of barycenter around 300 B.C.E. He first approached it from a physical perspective by stating: “Every heavy body has a well-defined centre of gravity in which all the weight of the body can be considered concentrated."

In astronomy, this notion describes the point around which a celestial body and its/their satellite(s) rotate. The illustration below depicts the barycenter with the red cross in the middle as well as the two bodies of different mass orbiting around it.

Etymology:

Barycenter comes from ancient Greek. Bary: βάρος (báros, “weight”) + center which comes from the Latin of centrum or even earlier from ancient Greek as kentron, κέντρον (single point).

Sample Sentence:

"How well we understand the Solar System’s barycenter is critical as we attempt to sense even the smallest tingle to the web.”