Experiment Ms-01

Racing Discs

Description: Two wooden discs with identical mass, shape, and size are loaded with lead so that they have different moments of inertia about their axes of symmetry.  When the discs are rolled down an inclined plane, the disc with the smaller moment of inertia always wins the race down the plane.


Discs loaded to have different moments of inertia.

The discs are released from the same position on the inclined plane. The disc with the smaller moment of inertia "wins" the race and hits the foam bumper on the edge of the lecture bench first. Be sure that when the discs are released, the two are not touching eachother. The friction between the two discs will change the motion.


Racing discs. The front disc is obviously winning; it has a smaller moment of inertia.


Discs approaching the bumper.


Materials: Inclined plane, loaded discs, bumper


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This page was last updated on Friday August 15, 2008 8:37 PM