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55

A hollow sphere will have a much larger moment of inertia than a uniform sphere of the same size and the same mass. If this seems counterintuitive, you probably carry a mental image of creating the hollow sphere by removing internal mass from the uniform sphere. This is an incorrect image, as such a process would create a hollow sphere of much lighter ...


35

Here's an illustration of a uniform sphere and a hollow sphere mid-sections with the same mass, if you better understand these things visually:


32

The key is... the closer the mass to the axis of rotation, the easier it is to add angular velocity to the body. For instance a figure skater rotates faster when she puts her limbs closer to her body. Let's see how it works in a more intuitive fashion: For instance, in the figure bellow, trying to lift up table (A) would be easier than table (B). In ...


21

Shift the upper configuration to the left a short distance at equilibrium. Result: the left wheel goes a little up, the right goes a little down, the train tilts clockwise, the center of mass is to the right of the centerline between the wheels, and therefore the center of mass provides a restorative force to push the train back to the right. Shift the ...


18

The moment of inertia of a body about an axis is a measure of how far the mass is distributed from that point. For a solid sphere of mass $m$, radius $r$, you have the mass distributed continuously from the center to the radius. However, for a hollow sphere of mass $m$, inner radius $r_i$ and outer radius the same as before, $r$, you have all the mass ...


12

In principle, yes, but the effects are almost completely negligible. As objects on the surface of the earth move around, the Earth's moment of inertia changes by minute amounts, and this affects its rotation. However, performing an order of magnitude estimate on the ratio of the contribution to the moment of inertia of a person-sized object on the equator ...


12

In both diagrams in the question, the left wheel has a smaller radius at the contact point than the right wheel. Because they're fixed to a common axle, in any given amount of time, the right wheel will travel a greater distance than the left, so the axle as a whole will rotate anti-clockwise (when viewed from above) about a vertical axis. As it does this, ...


11

The system needs to conserve momentum. In both cases, the momentum is whatever m*v is for the bullet. Since it's the same in both cases, the bullet and block have the same vertical velocity. Mechanical energy is not conserved. The reason the block hit on the side has more kinetic energy is that the bullet converted less of its kinetic energy into heat upon ...


10

The equation you are referring to is the expression for the moment of inertia of a point particle of mass $m$ at a distance $R$ away from some axis. This is expression is really the definition of the moment of inertia for a point mass, so the question becomes "where does this definition come from, and why is it useful?" Well for simplicity, suppose that ...


10

This is a note on why angular velocities are vectors, to complement Matt and David's excellent explanations of why rotations are not. When we say something has a certain angular velocity $\vec{\omega_1}$, we mean that each part of the thing has a position-dependent velocity $\vec{v_1}(\vec{r}) = \vec{\omega_1} \times \vec{r}$. We might consider another ...


9

The reason that you get slip at even the smallest forces results not from the fact that the tire is slipping against the ground, but that the tire is elastic. There is no way to completely eliminate slip with an elastic tire. Let's see why this is. To measure the slip, lets put twenty little green splotches of die evenly spaced on the circumference of the ...


8

Radian $(\theta)$ is defined as, $\theta=\dfrac{l}{r}$, where $l$ is length of arc and $r$ is radius in a circle, and both have dimension as lengths. Thus, Radian is a dimensionless unit.


8

I'll tackle your questions in reverse: 3. The contact point is stationary because the wheel is not slipping. This happens when the force of static friction is able to counter the force of the wheel on the ground. This is what you want for controllable transport. If the wheel starts slipping (because of low friction) that's a skid and you are no longer able ...


8

One may prove for an arbitrary rigid body (and wrt. to an arbitrary choice of pivotal point for the rigid body) that the three moments of inertia $I_x$, $I_y$, and $I_z$, around the three principal axes (which we will call $x$, $y$, and $z$) satisfy the triangle inequality, $$\tag{1} I_x +I_y ~\geq~ I_z, \qquad I_y +I_z ~\geq~ I_x, \qquad I_z +I_x ~\geq~ ...


7

While you jump, just like earth, you continue to move in a circle around sun. This is simply because you and earth are both continuing to undergo a gravitational acceleration towards sun. However, while you jump, due to your and earth's difference in positions, earth and you will experience a miniscule difference in gravitational acceleration towards sun, ...


7

There are actually several different ways to interpret that question, depending on what you mean by "vector" and "rotation". But here's a sense that I've often wondered about myself: in introductory physics, the velocity vector is defined as the time derivative of the position vector (relative to some fixed point). Why is the same not true of angular ...


7

There is no gravitational waves for a uniformly rotating axially symmetric body, because the metric doesn't depend on time. First of all, let me cite Landau, Lifshitz, The classical theory of fields, §88 The constant gravitational field: However, for the field produced by a body to be a constant, it is not necessary for the body to be at rest. Thus the ...


7

The direction of angular velocity is different from that of regular velocity for (arguably) two reasons. First, it points out of the plane because of the nature of angular velocity. It signifies a rotation, as such, there is not any particular direction unit vector in every coordinate space that could represent it. In spherical or cylindrical coordinates, it ...


7

There is a identity for the derivative of the cross-product of two vector functions $\mathbf A(t)$ and $\mathbf B(t)$; \begin{align} \frac{d}{dt} (\mathbf A \times \mathbf B) = \frac{d\mathbf A}{dt}\times \mathbf B + \mathbf A\times \frac{d\mathbf B}{dt} \end{align} Using this rule with the computation you're considering, we obtain \begin{align} ...


6

The inertia ellipsoid is computed from an integral about an axis - in other words you rotate the object. This will "smooth out" any symmetries and typically increase the symmetry. Sorry this is a "early morning" intuitive explanation - maybe someone else will give you a more formal answer.


6

The proper derivation of the centripetal acceleration—without assuming any kinematic variables are constant—requires a solid understanding of both the stationary Cartesian unit vectors $\hat{i}$ and $\hat{j}$ as well as the rotating polar unit vectors $\hat{e}_r$ and $\hat{e}_\theta$. The Cartesian unit vectors $\hat{i}$ and $\hat{j}$ are stationary and ...


6

I agree with the previous answer. Angular momentum, something the earth has because of its rotation about its axis, can only be changed when an external torque (twisting motion) is applied to the earth. As far as I know, there are two ways in which this can happen. If there was friction between the earth's surface and space, then that would slow down the ...


6

One way to explain it that makes sense to me is that the backwards spin on the ball is a force pushing the ball toward you. The one time applied force of your finger that creates the backward spin also pushes the ball forward, but the backspin stays almost constant. At the moment you spin the ball, the forward force is greater then that of the backspin, so ...


6

Defining properties of vectors are that you can add them and multiply them by constants. These both make sense for angular velocities. On the other hand, adding rotations doesn't make sense. What you can do with two rotations is compose them: first rotate one way, then rotate another. This operation doesn't look like addition of any sort. For one thing, it ...


6

I think this should help clear things up. Suppose you take a rod at rest and apply a force $F$ perpendicular to the rod at a distance $r$ away from its center of mass for a short time $\delta t$ - short enough that the orientation of the rod does not change much during the time the force is applied. The rod's linear momentum will become $$F\delta t$$ (from ...


5

Yes, $B$ does rotate when seen from a static frame of coordinates outside the disk: As to velocities and accelerations, see the article in Wikipedia. It says, $$\vec {v_s} = \vec {v_r} + \vec {\Omega} \times \vec r,$$ where $v_s$ is the velocity in the static frame and $v_r$ in the rotating. If you apply this formula for both points $A$ and $B$, their ...


5

If I understand your question correctly you are saying that: $$ v = r\omega $$ and therefore: $$\begin{align} v_A &= r\omega \\ v_B &= \tfrac{1}{2}r\omega \\ v_A &= 2v_B \end{align} $$ but how can $A$ and $B$ have different velocities when they are both attached to the disk so the separation between is fixed? The answer is that $A$ and ...


5

Intuitively, the moment of inertia of a single atom is far smaller than a diatomic molecule because the nucleus is at the origin, while in a diatomic molecule the nuclei are half the bond length from the origin. The minimum excitation energy for rotation is then much higher, well above room temperature, so it doesn't contribute, because $E=\frac ...


5

A day is currently about 86400.002 seconds long. If we could just increase the Earth's rotation rate by a mere 2 milliseconds per day we would get rid of the need for those pesky leap seconds. No problem! We only need something that rotates with an angular momentum of 1.4×1026 joule-seconds about an axis pointing due south. One way to do this would be to ...


5

Can you get any further when you know the Taylor expansion of $cos(\Delta \theta)$ $$ cos(x) \approx 1 - \frac{1}{2}x^2 + \mathcal{O}(x^4)$$



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