Cans On Inclined Plane - With And Without Water

Purpose

To illustrate the effect of moment of inertia on rolling acceleration.

Equipment

Tilting hospital cart, push broom, two cans, one mostly filled with water.

Setup Time

5 min.

Images

d2-03

Description

Roll two identical cans from rest down an incline, where one is empty and the other is nearly filled with water. Q: Which gets to the bottom first, or is it a tie? A: The water-filled can reaches the bottom first. Due to its small viscosity,the rotation of the water is limited, and that can acts much like a body sliding without friction down the incline. Using the broom, give the two cans a push up the incline. Which can will roll higher up the incline?

References

PIRA 1Q10.50)