Conservation Of Energy In Rolling Body

Purpose

To demonstrate conversion of gravitational potential energy into translational and rotational kinetic energy.

Equipment

Spool with large and very small axels, inclined plane.

Images

d1-62

Description

The spool slowly rolls down the incline on its smaller radius, converting gravitational potential energy into rotational kinetic energy with a lesser amount of translational kinetic energy. When the spool reaches the bottom, the larger radius rims make contact with the table top, resulting in a sudden transfer of some of the rotational kinetic energy into translational kinetic energy.

References

J. Thomas Dickinson, Rolling Spool Experiment,TPT 10, 210-211 (1972).