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I am conducting a lab right now in which I have been given a cylinder/can, which I can modify on the inside as I wish. The goal is to create a can that can roll down the fastest.

After some testing I settled on 2 shapes; a solid cylinder and an inverted hollow cylinder(a hollow cylinder but instead the mass is concentrated in the centre rather than the outside). The solid cylinder I have constructed by filing the can completely and the 2nd can I placed a stack of coins in the centre which I held in place with cardboard cutouts.

Whilst I was testing these two shapes, the inverted hollow cylinder was rolling down faster, which I found quite intriguing as I had thought the solid cylinder would be the fastest. I don't understand the reasoning behind as to why this is happening. Can someone explain this to me?

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Assuming the two cylinders are of the same mass, the cylinder with a more central mass-here being the “inverted hollow cylinder",would have a smaller moment of inertia and thus, a higher rotational speed.

It is this property that allows the “inverted hollow cylinder" to roll down faster.

This might be of help: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_moments_of_inertia

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