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Rolling as Pure Rotation (Exercise)

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# Connexions module: m14374

1

Rolling as pure rotation (Exercise)

Sunil Kumar Singh
This work is produced by The Connexions Project and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License †

Abstract Solving problems is an essential part of the understanding process.
Questions and their answers are presented here in the module text format as if it were an extension of the theoretical treatment of the topic. The idea is to provide a verbose explanation of the solution, detailing the application of theory. Solution presented here, therefore, is treated as the part of the understanding process  not merely a Q/A session. The emphasis is to enforce ideas and concepts, which can not be completely absorbed unless they are put to real time situation.

1 Representative problems and their solutions
We discuss problems, whose analysis is suited to the technique of treating rolling motion as pure rotation. For this reason, questions are categorized in terms of the characterizing features pertaining to the questions :

• • • •

Positions on the rolling body with a specied velocity Velocity of a particle situated at a specied position Distance covered by a particle in rolling Kinetic energy of rolling

1.1 Position on the rolling body with specied velocity Example 1 Problem :
rolls. At an instant, the contact point of a rolling disk of radius R coincides with the origin of

the coordinate system. If the disk rolls with constant angular velocity,  ω , along a straight line, then nd the position of a particle on the vertical diameter, whose velocity is 1/ 2 of the velocity with which the disk

Solution :

Here, the particle on the vertical diameter moves with a velocity, which is 1/ 2 of that of

the velocity of the center of mass. Now, velocity of center of mass is :

vC = ωR
Let the particle be at a distance y from the point of contact on the vertical diameter. Then, velocity of the particle is :
∗ Version
1.5: Nov 22, 2009 3:39 am US/Central

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Velocity of a particle

Figure 1: Velocity of a particle on the vertical diameter

v = ωr = ωy
According to question,

v =
Putting values,

vC 2

⇒ ωy =

vC 2

=
R 2

ωR 2

⇒ y =
note:

This result is expected from the nature of relation 

v = ωr 

. It is a linear relation for

vertical distance. The velocity varies linearly with the vertical distance.

Example 2 Problem : Solution :

At an instant, the contact point of a rolling disk of radius R coincides with the origin of

the coordinate system. If the disk rolls with constant angular velocity,  ω , along a straight line, then nd the position of a particle on the rim of the disk, whose speed is same as the speed with which the disk rolls. Here, the particle on the rim of the disk moves with the same velocity as that of the velocity of the center of mass. Now, velocity of center of mass is :

vC = ωR
Let the particle be at P(x,y) as shown in the gure. Then, velocity of the particle is :

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Velocity of a particle

Figure 2: Velocity of a particle on the rim of the disk

v = 2vC sin
According to question,

θ 2

= 2ωRsin

θ 2

v = vC
Putting values,

2vC sin

θ 2

= 2ωRsin
θ 2 ◦ ◦

θ 2

= ωR

⇒ sin ⇒
θ 2

=

1 2

= sin30

= 30

⇒ θ = 60

⇒ x = − Rsin60

= −

3R 2

⇒ y = Rcos60

=

R 2

Since there are two such points on the rim on either side of the vertical line, the coordinates of the positions of the particles, having same speed as that of center of mass are :

3R 2

,

R 2

and

3R 2

,

R 2

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1.2 Velocity of a particle situated at a specied position Example 3 Problem :
A circular disk of radius R rolls with constant angular velocity,  ω , along a straight line.

At an instant, the contact point of a rolling disk coincides with the origin of the coordinate system. Find the velocity of a particle, situated at a point (0,3R/2), as seen by (i) an observer on the ground (ii) an observer who is translating in the direction of rolling with a velocity  ω R/2 and (iii) an observer who is translating in the direction of rolling with a velocity equal to that of center of mass.

Velocity of a particle

Figure 3: Velocity of a particle on the vertical diameter

Solution :
the ground is :

(i) The linear distance of the particle from the contact point is 3R/2.

Since, particle is

situated on the vertical diameter, the tangent to the circular path is horizontal. This means that particle is moving in horizontal direction (x  direction) with this speed. Hence, velocity of the particle as seen from

v = ωr ⇒ v = ωx
particle with respect to observer is :

3R 2

=

3ωR 2

(ii) The observer is moving with velocity  ω R/2 in the direction of rolling. Thus, relative velocity of the

vPO = vP − vO ⇒ vPO =
3ωR 2

ωR 2

= ωR

(iii) The observer is moving with velocity of center of mass  ω R in the direction of rolling. Thus, relative velocity of the particle with respect to observer is :

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vPO = vP − vO ⇒ vPO =
3ωR 2

− ωR =

ωR 2

Note that the observer moving with the velocity of center of mass views rolling as pure rotation. The motion of the particle will be seen by the observer as the pure rotation of the particle about the perpendicular axis, which passes through center of mass. Now, particle is at a distance "3R/2 - R = R/2" from the central axis. Hence, linear velocity due to pure rotation only is :

vPO = ωr =
of rotation at contact point.

ωR 2

Thus, the result is same as obtained when we consider rolling as pure rotation about instantaneous axis

Example 4 Problem :

A circular disk of radius R rolls with constant angular velocity,  ω , along a straight line.

At an instant, the contact point of a rolling disk coincides with the origin of the coordinate system. Find the velocity of a particle, situated at a point (R/2,3R/2), as seen by (i) an observer on the ground and (ii) an observer, who is translating in the direction of rolling with a velocity equal to that of center of mass.

Velocity of a particle

Figure 4: Velocity of a particle at a specied position

Solution :
relation,

(i) In this case, velocity of the particle can be easily found out applying vector form of the

v = ωxr
Here, angular velocity is into the plane of disk and is, therefore, negative :

ω = −ωk

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The position vector of the particle at the given instant is :

r =
Hence, velocity of the particle is :

R 2i

+

3R 2 j

v = − ωk x v = v =
interpretation as shown in the gure.

R 3R 2i + 2 j − ωR j + 3ωR i 2 2 3ωR ωR 2 i − 2 j

It is signicant to note that signs of the components involved in the result is consistent with the physical

Velocity of a particle

Figure 5: Velocity of a particle at a specied position

(ii) The observer moving with the velocity of center of mass in the x-direction. Its velocity is :

vO = ωR i
Thus, relative velocity of the particle with respect to observer is :

vPO = vP − vO ⇒ vPO = ⇒ vPO =
3ωR ωR 2 i − 2 j ωR ωR 2 i − 2 j

− ωRi

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1.3 Distance covered by a particle in rolling Example 5 Problem : Solution :
Find the distance covered in one complete revolution by a particle on the rim of a circular The question, here, seeks to nd the distance covered. We know that each particle on the

disk, which is rolling with constant velocity along a straight line on a horizontal plane. rim of the disk moves along a cycloid curve as shown in the gure.

Path of a particle in rolling motion

Figure 6: Path of a particle in rolling motion is a cycloid.

The speed of the particle along the curve is not constant, but varies as :

v = 2vC sin
varies from 0

θ 2

= 2ωRsin θ/2

θ 2

where  θ  is the angle that the particle makes with vertical at the center. During one rotation, the angle

to 360 . For this range of values, sin

varies between 0 to 1 in the rst half and then 1 to

0 in the second half of the motion. The plot of speed  time approximates as shown here.

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Speed  time plot

Figure 7: Speed of the particle rst increases for rst half, then decreases in the other half.

The dierential distance covered is given as :

s = v t
We know that the the area under speed  time curve gives the distance covered by the particle. Hence, distance is :

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Speed  time plot

Figure 8: Area under plot gives the distance covered.

s =

v t =

2ωRsin

θ 2

t

In order to have only one variable in the integration, we use the relation,

θ = ωt
Substituting in the integration,

s =

v t =

2ωRsin

ωt 2

t

Putting the appropriate limits of time for one revolution and taking out the constants from the integration,

⇒ s = 2ωR ⇒ s = 4R

2π ω

0

sin

ωt 2
2π ω

t

− cos ωt 2

0 ◦

⇒ s = − 4R [ cosπ − cos0 ⇒ s = 8R

]

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1.4 Kinetic energy of rolling Example 6 Problem : Solution :
A hollow sphere of mass M and radius R is rolling with a constant velocity v. What The kinetic energy of the rolling sphere is given by :

is ratio of translational kinetic energy and total kinetic energy.

K =
Here,

1 2 2 IA ω

ω =
and

vC R

IA = IC + M R2
For hollow sphere,

IA =

2M R2 3

+ M R2 =

5M R2 3

Putting these values in the equation of kinetic energy, we have :

K =

1 2

x

5M R2 3

x

vC 2 R2

⇒ K =

5M vC 2 6

The translational kinetic energy of the rigid body is given by :

⇒ KT =
Hence, the required ratio is :

M vC 2 2

K KT

=

5 3

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