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# Rotation of Rigid Bodies

Angular Motion

Angular Motion Definitions

Rotational kinematics: describes rotational motion.

Rigid body: idealized model of a body which has a perfectly definite

and unchanging shape and size.

Rigid Bodies

A rigid body is one where all the

particles maintain their

relative position

As the body rotates

Each particle moves

Relative positions don’t change

Bowling Green

Sydney

Cities on the earth are always moving

But they don’t get closer together

Angular Motion Definitions

First, let’s discuss the rotation of rigid body about a fixed axis.

Fixed axes: axes which is at rest in some inertial frame of

reference and does not change direction relative to that frame.

We will usually select the origin of our x-y plane to be in the same as

the plane that the rotating object occupies and the origin O

corresponded to the location of the axis of rotation.

Then, if we pick a point on the rotating object and draw a line from

this point to the origin it will make an angle θ with the x-axis. This

angle is called the angular position.

The angular displacement will be defined as a change in angular

position, ∆θ = θ

2

- θ

1

, during a time interval ∆t = t

2

- t

1

.

Both angular position and angular displacement will most commonly

be expressed in radians. To convert between radians, revolutions,

and degrees use the conversion:

1 revolution = 2 π radians = 360 degrees

Angular Motion Definitions

One radian is the angle subtended at

the center of a circle by an arc with a

length equal to the radius of this circle.

θ θ r s

r

s

· · ,

r s rad · : 1

Angle θ is subtended by an arc with a

length S equal on a circle of the radius r.

Angle in radians is the ratio of two lengths, so it is a pure number (NO dimensions).

Angular Motion Definitions

The average angular velocity ω

av-z

is the angular displacement per

unit time

t t t

z av

∆

∆

·

−

−

·

−

θ θ θ

ω

1 2

1 2

dt

d

t

t

z

θ θ

ω ·

∆

∆

·

→ ∆ 0

lim

The instantaneous angular velocity ω

z

is the limit of ω

av-z

when ∆t

approaches zero. This is derivative of angular position with respect to time.

At any instant, every part of a rotating rigid body has the same angular

velocity. The angular velocity is positive if the body is rotating in the

direction of increasing θ and negative if it is rotating in the direction of

decreasing θ .

Angular velocity will usually be expressed in radians per second (rad/s).

Another common unit for angular velocity is revolutions per minute (rpm).

Angular Motion Definitions

Angular velocity is a vector quantity.

The direction of angular velocity is defined

using the right-hand rule.

To use this rule, curl the fingers of your right

hand in the direction of rotation. Your right

thumb then points in the direction of the

angular velocity.

Angular Motion Definitions

The average angular acceleration α

av-z

is change in angular velocity

per unit time.

t t t

z z z

z av

∆

∆

·

−

−

·

−

ω ω ω

α

1 2

1 2

dt

d

t

z z

t

z

ω ω

α ·

∆

∆

·

→ ∆ 0

lim

The instantaneous angular acceleration α

z

is the limit of α

av-z

when ∆t

approaches zero. This is also the derivative of angular velocity with

respect to time and the second derivative of angular position with respect

to time.

2

2

dt

d

dt

d

dt

d

z

θ θ

α · ·

Angular acceleration is typically expressed in radians

per second squared (rad/s

2

).

Angular Motion Definitions

Just as was the case for linear motion:

the object will be "speeding up" if

the angular acceleration is in the

same direction as the angular

velocity, and

the object will be "slowing down"

if the angular acceleration is in the

opposite direction of the angular

velocity.

Angular Motion Definitions

Graph of ω

z

and α

z

versus time for a rotating object

During which time intervals is the rotation "speeding up"?

During which time intervals is the rotation "slowing down"?

Angular Motion Definitions

Graph of ω

z

and α

z

versus time for a rotating object

During which time intervals is the rotation "speeding up"?

During which time intervals is the rotation "slowing down"?

Speeding up

ω

z

>0 and

α

z

>0

Slowing down

ω

z

>0 and

α

z

<0

Speeding up

ω

z

<0 and

α

z

<0

Constant Angular Acceleration

For the special case of constant angular acceleration the equations

which relate angular displacement, angular velocity, angular acceleration

and time have the same form as the kinematic equations for constant

linear acceleration.

These equations can be obtained from the familiar ones by replacing x

with θ, v

x

with ω

z

, and a

x

with α

z

.

.

0

0

−

−

·

t

z z

z

ω ω

α

2

0 z z

z av

ω ω

ω

+

·

−

t

1

=0, angular acceleration is constant and

equal to average value for any interval:

t

z z z

α ω ω + ·

0

Constant angular acceleration ONLY

0

0

−

−

·

−

t

z av

θ θ

ω

t

z z

) (

2

1

0 0

ω ω θ θ + · −

Constant angular

acceleration ONLY

Constant Angular Acceleration

To obtain relation between θ and t that doesn’t contain ω

z

:

t

z z

) (

2

1

0 0

ω ω θ θ + · −

Constant angular

acceleration ONLY

t

z z z

α ω ω + ·

0

2

0 0

2

1

t t

z z

α ω θ θ + + ·

t

z z z

α ω ω + ·

0

2

0 0

2

1

t t

z z

α ω θ θ + + ·

) ( 2

0

2

0

2

θ θ α ω ω − + ·

z z z

Constant angular

acceleration ONLY

To obtain relation between θ and ω

z

that doesn’t contain t:

Constant Angular Acceleration

Kinematics: Rotational vs

Linear

Relating Linear and Angular Kinematics

Consider a point P on a rotating object that is a distance r away from the

axis of rotation. As the object turns through an angle θ the point covers a

distance given by s = rθ

In the above expression the angle θ must be in radians

If this expression is differentiated with

respect to time then the left hand side will

become the linear speed of particle

This speed corresponds to the velocity of

the point P which is tangential to the

circular arc traced out by the point. When

differentiating the right hand side, we

notice that r is constant and the rate of

change of angular position is the angular

velocity. This gives:

dt

d

r

dt

ds θ

·

ω r v ·

Relation between linear

and angular speed

Relating Linear and Angular Kinematics

Differentiating once again gives a relationship between the tangential

acceleration of the point, a

tan

, and the angular acceleration of the

rotation object:

α

ω

r

dt

d

r

dt

dv

a · · ·

tan

Tangential acceleration of a

point on a rotating body

Finally, recall that any object that is

undergoing circular motion

experiences an inwardly directed

radial acceleration given by the

speed squared divided by the radius.

If we replace v=rω we have:

r

r

v

a

rad

1

1

ω · ·

Centripetal acceleration of

a point on a rotating body

Relating Linear and Angular Kinematics

α

ω

r

dt

d

r

dt

dv

a · · ·

tan

These equations apply to any particle

that has the same tangential velocity as

a point in a rotating rigid body

o

Rope wound around a circular cylinder

unwraps without stretching or slipping, its

speed and acceleration at any instant are

equal to the speed and tangential acceleration

of the point at which it is tangent to the

cylinder

o

Bicycle chains and sprockets, belts, pulleys, …

ω r v · θ r s ·

Rotational Inertia (Moment of Inertia)

The rotational inertia of an object is a measure of the resistance of

the object to changes in its rotational motion

For a system of particles of masses m

i

at distances r

i

from an axis

passing through a point P the rotational inertia of the system about

the axis is given by:

∑

· + + ·

i

i i

r m r m r m I

2 2

2 2

2

1 1

...

Definition of

moment of inertia

SI unit of moment of inertia is the kg⋅ m

2

For a solid object the rotational inertia is found by evaluating an integral

as we will see later

In a rigid body the distances r

i

are constant, and I is independent of

how the body is rotating around a given axis. The rotational inertia of

some common shapes about some of their symmetry axes is given in

Table 9.2 of your textbook

Rotational Inertia (Moment of Inertia)

Rotational Kinetic Energy

The rotational kinetic energy of a solid object rotating about an axis for

which its rotational inertia is I with angular velocity ω is expressed as

2

2

1

ω I K ·

Rotational kinetic energy of a rigid body

Notice the similarity between this formula and the formula for the kinetic

energy of a point mass m moving with speed v

This kinetic energy is the sum of kinetic energies of the individual

particles that make up the rigid body

ω is in rad/s (NOT in rev or degrees per second ! K will be in Joules)

The greater is the moment of inertia, the greater the kinetic energy of a

rigid body rotating with a given angular speed

Rotational Kinetic Energy

1

1

1

ω I K ·

Greater a body’s moment of inertia, the harder it is to start the

body rotating if it’s at rest and the harder it is to stop its rotation if

it’s already rotating

Rotational Kinetic Energy

Moments of inertia for different rotation axes

One-piece machine part consists of three heavy connectors linked by light

molded struts.

A. What is the moment of inertia of this body about an axis through point A, ⊥ to

the plane of the slide?

B. What is the moment of inertia of this body about an axis coinciding the rod

BC?

C. If the body rotates about an axis through A ⊥ to the plane of the slide with

angular speed 4.0 rad/s, what is its kinetic energy?

Rotational Energy. Problems

Problem-Solving Strategy

IDENTIFY the relevant concepts: You can use work–energy

relations and conservation of energy to find relations involving position and

motion of a rigid body rotating around a fixed axis. As we saw before, the

energy method is usually not helpful for problems that involve elapsed time.

Later we will see how to approach rotational problems of this kind.

SET UP the problem using the following steps:

1. First decide what the initial and final states (the positions and velocities) of

the system are. Use the subscript 1 for the initial state and the subscript 2

for the final state. It helps to draw sketches showing the initial and final

states.

2. Define your coordinate system, particularly the level at which y=0. You will

use it to compute gravitational potential energies. Equations assume that

the positive direction for y is upward; use this choice consistently.

3. Identify all non-gravitational forces that do work. A free-body diagram is

always helpful. If some of the quantities you need are unknown, represent

them by algebraic symbols.

Rotational Energy. Problems

Problem-Solving Strategy

SET UP, continued:

List the unknown and known quantities, including the coordinates and

velocities at each point. Decide which unknowns are your target variables.

Many problems involve a rope or cable wrapped around a rotating rigid

body, which functions as a pulley.

In these situations, remember that the point on the pulley that contacts the

rope has the same linear speed as the rope, provided the rope doesn’t slip

on the pulley.

You can then take advantage of Equations which relate the linear speed and

tangential acceleration of a point on a rigid body to the angular velocity and

angular acceleration of the body.

Rotational Energy. Problems

Problem-Solving Strategy

EXECUTE the solution:

Write expressions for the initial and final kinetic and potential energies (K

1

,

K

2

, U

1

and U

2

) and the non-conservative work W

other

(if any).

The new feature is rotational kinetic energy, which is expressed in terms of

the body’s moment of inertia I for the given axis and its angular speed ω

instead of its mass m and speed v.

Substitute these expressions into K

1

+ U

1

+W

other

=K

2

+U

2

(if nonconservative

work is done) or K

1

+ U

1

=K

2

+U

2

(if only conservative work is done) and solve

for the target variable(s).

It’s helpful to draw bar graphs showing the initial and final values of K, U,

and E=K+U.

EVALUATE your answer:

As always, check whether your answer makes physical sense.

Parallel Axis Theorem

Parallel-Axis Theorem

To find the rotational inertia of an object about an axis that is

different from one listed in Table 9.2 in your textbook you may be

able to use the parallel axis theorem.

This theorem gives the rotational inertia of an object of mass M

about an axis, P, that is parallel to and a distance d away from an

axis that passes through the object's center of mass.

2

Md I I

cm p

+ ·

Parallel-Axis Theorem

Parallel-Axis Theorem

Consider two axes, both parallel to z-axis, one through the center of

mass and the other through a point P.

Mass element m

i

has coordinates (x

i

, y

i

) with respect to an axis of

rotation through the center of mass and ⊥ to the plane of the slide. The

mass element has coordinates (x

i

-a, y

i

-b) with respect to the parallel

axis through point P.

Let’s take origin at the CM of the body:

x

cm

= y

cm

= z

cm

=0

The axis through the CM passes through this

thin slice at point O, and parallel axis passes

through point P with coordinates (a, b). Then

the distance of this axis from axis through CM

is d: d

2

=a

2

+b

2

Moment of inertia I

cm

about axis through O:

∑

+ ·

i

i i i cm

y x m I ) (

1 1

Parallel-Axis Theorem

Moment of inertia I

cm

about axis through P:

∑

− + − ·

i

i i i P

b y a x m I )] ) ( ) [(

2 2

These expressions don’t involve the coordinates z

i

measured ⊥ to the

slices. Let’s extend the sums to include all particles in all slices. I

p

then

becomes the moment of inertia of the entire body for an axis through P:

∑ ∑ ∑ ∑

+ + − − + ·

i i i

i i i

i

i i i i i P

m b a y m b x m a y x m I ) ( 2 2 ) (

2 2 2 2

cm

I 0 ·

cm

x

2

d

M 0 ·

cm

y

2

Md I I

cm P

+ ·

Parallel-Axis Theorem. Example

A part of a mechanical linkage has a mass of 3.6 kg. We measure its

moment of inertia about an axis 0.15 m from its center of mass to be

I

p

=0.132 kg·m

2

.

What is the moment of inertia I

cm

about a parallel axis through the

center of mass?

1 1 1

1

111 . 1 ) 11 . 1 )( 1 . 1 ( 1 1 1 . 1 m kg m kg m kg

Md I I

p cm

⋅ · − ⋅ ·

· − ·

Result show that I

cm

is less than I

p

. This is as it should be: the moment

of inertia for an axis through the center of mass is lower than for any

other parallel axis.

Inertia Calculations

Inertia Calculations

For a continuous distribution of mass the sum of the masses times the

square of the distances to the axis of rotation which defines the moment

of inertia become an integral.

If the object is divided into small mass elements dm in such a manner

that all of the points in a particular mass element are the same

perpendicular distance r from the axis of rotation then the moment of

inertia is given by

.

∫

· dm r I

2

To evaluate the integral, you need to represent r and dm in terms of the

same integration variable. 1-D object, slender rod: use coordinate x

along the length and relate dm to an increment dx. 3-D object: express

dm in terms of element of volume dV and density ρ.

∫

· · dV V r I

dV

dm

) ( ,

2

ρ ρ

∫

· · dV r I const

2

ρ ρ

dz dy dx dV ·

Limits of integral are determined by the shape and

dimensions of the body

Inertia Calculations

Uniform thin rod, axis ⊥ to length

Slender uniform rod with mass M and

length L.

Compute its moment of inertia about an

axis through O, at an arbitrary distance h

from the end.

L

dx

M

dm

·

Choose as an element of mass a short section of rod with length dx at a

distance x from O. The ratio of the mass dm of this element to the total

mass M is equal to the ratio of its length dx to the total length L:

dx

L

M

dm ·

) 1 1 (

1

1

1

1 1

1

1 1

h Lh L M

x

L

M

dx x

L

M

dm x

h L

h

h L

h

+ − ·

1

]

1

¸

,

_

¸

¸

· ·

−

−

−

−

∫ ∫

Evaluate this general expression about an axis through the left

end; the right end; through the center. Compare with Table 9.2.

Inertia Calculations

Hollow or solid cylinder, rotating about

axis of symmetry

Hollow, uniform cylinder with length L, inner radius

R

1

, outer radius R

2

. Compute its moment of inertia

about the axis of symmetry.

) 1 ( rLdr dV dm π ρ ρ · ·

Choose as a volume element a thin cylindrical shell of

radius r, thickness dr, and length L. All parts of this

element are at very nearly the same distance from

the axis. The volume of this element:

· − · · ·

∫ ∫ ∫

) (

1

1

1 ) 1 (

1

1

1

1

1 1 1

1

1

1

1

R R

L

dr r L rLdr r dm r

R

R

R

R

πρ

πρ π ρ

) )( (

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

R R R R

L

+ − ·

πρ

) (

1

1

1

1

R R L V − · π ) (

1

1

1

1

1

1

R R M I + ·

Inertia Calculations

Hollow or solid cylinder, rotating about axis

of symmetry

If cylinder is solid, R

1

=0, R

2

=R:

If cylinder has a very thin wall, R

1

and R

2

are very

nearly equal:

Note: moment of inertia of a cylinder about an axis of

symmetry depends on its mass and radii, but not on

its length!

) (

1

1

1

1

1

1

R R M I + ·

1

1

1

MR I ·

1

MR I ·

Inertia Calculations

Uniform sphere, axis through center

Uniform sphere with radius R. the axis is through

its center. Find the moment of inertia about the

axis is through the center of this sphere.

Divide sphere into thin disks of thickness dx,

whose moment of inertia we already know. The

radius r of the disk is

1 1

x R r − ·

The volume is

The mass is

The moment of inertia for the disk of radius r and mass dm is

dx x R dx r dV ) (

1 1 1

− · · π π

dx x R dx r dV dm ) (

1 1 1

− · · · πρ π ρ

( ) dx x R dx x R x R dm r dI

1 1 1 1 1

1

1 1 1

) (

1

] ) ( [

1

1

1

1

− · − − · ·

πρ

πρ

Inertia Calculations

Uniform sphere, axis through center

Integrating from x=0 to x=R gives the moment

of inertia of the right hemisphere.

From symmetry, the total I for the entire sphere

is just twice this:

∫

− ·

R

dx x R I

1

1 1 1

) (

1

) 1 (

πρ

1

1 1

1

R I

πρ

·

Volume of the sphere

The mass M of the sphere

1

1

1

R

V

π

·

1

1

1

R V M

πρ

ρ · ·

1

1

1

MR I ·

Note: moment of inertia of a solid sphere is less than the

moment of inertia of a solid cylinder of the same mass and

radius! (Reason is that more of the sphere’s mass is located

close to the axis)