Title

Almost rolling motion: An investigation of rolling grooved cylinders

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-1998

Department

Physics and Astronomy

Abstract

We examine the dynamics of cylinders that are grooved to form N teeth for rolling motion down an inclined plane. The grooved cylinders are experimentally found to reach a terminal velocity. This result can be explained by the inclusion of inelastic processes which occur whenever a tooth hits the surface. The fraction of the angular velocity that is lost during an inelastic collision is phenomenologically found to be proportional to 2 sin(2) pi/N-alpha sin(3) pi/N, and the method of least squares is used to find the constant alpha = 0.98. The adjusted theoretical results for the time of rolling as well as for terminal velocity are found to be in good agreement with the experimental results. (C) 1998 American Association of Physics Teachers.

Publication Title

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICS

Volume

66

Issue

3

First Page

202

Last Page

208