# Cat & Turntable: Angular Velocity Comparison?

• physgirl
In summary, the "Cat & Turntable" experiment aims to showcase the effects of angular velocity on objects in circular motion. Angular velocity is measured in radians per second (rad/s) and is affected by the rotational speed and radius of the object's circular path. The cat's position on the turntable does not affect its angular velocity, and this experiment can also be used to demonstrate other concepts such as centripetal force, inertia, and the relationship between linear and angular velocity. It can also differentiate between uniform and non-uniform circular motion.
physgirl
If there's a cat and a turntable both of same mass each... and the cat starts walking around the edge of the turntable which is initially at rest, how would the angular velocity of the two objects compare? Would the cat move at all since it has the same mass as the turntable and momentum has to be conserved??

Yes, the cat would have to move to conserve angular momentum. Can you show why? Assume the turntable is a disk of radius R and work it out.

The angular velocity of the two objects would not be directly comparable as they have different rotational properties. The turntable is a rigid object with a fixed axis of rotation, while the cat is a living organism capable of changing its direction and speed. However, the cat's movement around the edge of the turntable would cause a change in the overall angular momentum of the system. This is because the cat's movement is also a form of angular motion, and according to the law of conservation of angular momentum, any change in one part of a system must be balanced by an equal and opposite change in another part. Therefore, the turntable would start to rotate in the opposite direction to the cat's movement in order to conserve the total angular momentum of the system. The cat's movement would also be affected by the turntable's rotation, as it would experience a centripetal force pulling it towards the center of the turntable. In conclusion, while the angular velocities of the two objects may not be directly comparable, they are intrinsically linked through the conservation of angular momentum.

## 1. What is the purpose of the "Cat & Turntable" experiment?

The purpose of the "Cat & Turntable" experiment is to demonstrate the concept of angular velocity and how it affects objects in circular motion. By comparing the movement of a cat on a rotating turntable to a stationary cat, we can observe the effects of angular velocity on an object's speed and direction.

## 2. How is angular velocity measured in this experiment?

Angular velocity is measured in radians per second (rad/s) in this experiment. This unit represents the change in angle over time and is used to quantify the rotational speed of an object.

## 3. What factors affect the angular velocity of an object?

The angular velocity of an object is affected by its rotational speed and the radius of its circular path. The greater the rotational speed or the smaller the radius, the higher the angular velocity will be.

## 4. How does the cat's position on the turntable affect its angular velocity?

The cat's position on the turntable does not affect its angular velocity. As long as the cat remains on the rotating turntable, it will have the same angular velocity regardless of its position.

## 5. Can this experiment be used to demonstrate other concepts related to rotational motion?

Yes, this experiment can also be used to demonstrate concepts such as centripetal force and inertia, as well as the relationship between linear and angular velocity. It can also be used to illustrate the difference between uniform and non-uniform circular motion.

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