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Linear vs.

Angular Kinetics

Angular Inertia & Momentum
Objectives: • Define moment of inertia, angular momentum • Understand factors that determine moment of inertia • Understand and apply the principle of conservation of angular momentum • Understand how momentum can be transferred between segments or axes

• Every concept in linear kinetics has an analogue in angular kinetics. Linear Kinetics
Relationship between: • External forces (F) • Inertia (mass) • Displacement (∆p) • Velocity (v) • Acceleration (a)

Angular Kinetics
Relationship between: • External torques (T) • Inertia • Angular displacement (θ) • Angular velocity (ω) • Angular acceleration (α)

• Concept relating to the difficulty with which an object’s motion is altered • Inertia = tendency to resist acceleration • In linear kinetics, inertia is represented by mass
Greater mass Greater force to produce a given acceleration

Moment of Inertia
• For a particle:


Ii = mi ri ²
• For an object:

axis of

I = Σ Ii = Σ mi ri²

• In angular kinetics, inertia is represented by the mass moment of inertia (I) of an object
Greater I Greater torque to produce a given angular acceleration

rotation where: – mi : mass of particle i – ri : distance of particle i from axis of rotation

• SI Units: kg·m²


Example Problem #1
Compute the mass moment of inertia of the object below about the axis of rotation shown.
C = 1 kg

Factors Affecting Moment of Inertia
• Since:

I = Σ mi ri²
x' center of mass

y x'

I increases with:
– Greater mass – Greater distance from axis of rotation

A = 1 kg 0.1 m

.2 m



B = 1 kg


axis of rotation




D = 2 kg

x • Therefore, I depends on: – Mass of the object – Shape of the object – Location of the axis of rotation (distance from center of mass) – Direction of the axis of rotation



Body Position & Moment of Inertia
• Body moment of inertia depends on body position and axis of rotation

Computing Moment of Inertia
• In biomechanics, determine I using: – Formulas for geometric solids (e.g. a cylinder) – Measurements using pendulum techniques or medical imaging – Radius of gyration (k):

I = m k²
• Could lump all of an object’s mass at a distance k from the axis and I would be the same • k has been measured for different body segments

I = 10.5 – 13 kg·m2

I = 4.0 – 5.0 kg·m2

I = 1.0 – 1.2 kg·m2

I = 2.0 – 2.5 kg·m2


Example Problem #2
A table of anthropometic data gives the following information:
Leg Length Leg + Foot Mass Foot + Leg Radius of Gyration * 24.6% of body height 6.1% of body mass 73.5% of leg length

Angular Momentum
• The quantity of angular motion • Measured as the product of an object’s moment of inertia (I) and its angular velocity (ω; in rad/s):

H= Iω
This equation applies to two cases: – rotation about a fixed, stationary axis – rotation about an axis through the center of mass (which can be moving) • SI Units: kg·m2/s

* About the mediolateral axis of the knee

For a man with a body mass of 75 kg and height of 1.75 m, find the moment of inertia of the leg + foot about the knee during flexion-extension

Multi-segment Angular Momentum
• Angular momentum of a multi-segment object is the sum of angular momentum of its parts • For special case of segments rotating about the same fixed axis:

Angular Momentum: General Case
• Angular momentum of an object about a point = (ang. momentum of the object about its center of mass) + (ang. momentum of the center of mass about the point)

H = Σ Hi = Σ (Ii ωi)
where: – Ii : moment of inertia of segment i about the axis of rotation – ωi : angular velocity of segment i about the axis of rotation
Axis of Rotation




H = Icm ω + m v d
Segment 2

• Used to compute angular momentum of the whole body about its center of mass




Conservation of Angular Momentum
• If the net external torque applied to a system is zero, the total angular momentum of the system (about either a fixed axis of rotation or the system’s center of mass) remains constant

Example Problem #3
A figure skater is spinning at 1 rev/s in the position on the left. Her moment of inertia is 5 kg m 2 While spinning, she changes to the position on the right. Her moment of inertia in the new position is: (a) 3 kg m2, (b) 5 kg m2, or (c) 7 kg m 2 ? What is her angular velocity in the new position?
ω ω

If Σ Texternal = 0, then: H = I ω = a constant
• Practical implications: – If I of a body increases, ω decreases – If I of a body decreases, ω increases – In both cases, direction of ω stays the same

Example Problem #4
A diver performs a backward 1 ½ somersault, as shown below. Sketch his angular momentum, moment of inertia, and angular velocity about his center of mass as a function of time.

Transfer of Angular Momentum
• Applies to bodies made up of multiple segments • When momentum is conserved: changing the angular momentum of one segment changes the angular momentum of the other segments • For 2 segments rotating about ωarm a fixed axis:

I1inital ω1initial + I2initial ω2initial = I1final ω1final + I2final ω2final



Example Problem #5
A skateboarder attempts a frontside 180. Case 1: starts twisting in midair with body straight Case 2: starts twisting in midair with body piked These are diagrammed below. What is the upper body angular velocity in each case?
Hinitial = 0 Iupper = 1 kg m2 Ilower = 1 kg m2 ωlower = 6 rad/s Hinitial = 0 Iupper = 3 kg m2 Ilower = 1.5 kg m2 ωlower = 6 rad/s

Transfer of Momentum Between Axes
• How does a diver initiate a twisting somersault from a somersault? • Total angular momentum is constant, so by swinging the arms to rotate the long axis of the body, momentum is redirected into twisting and rotation
Ixωsomersault H = I ωsomersault H