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Cylinder on a frictionless inclined plane

  1. Dec 7, 2003 #1


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    I just have a question about cylinder. If a cylinder is on a frictionless inclined plane, does it spin as it comes down? I guess on a level surface, frictional force is required for a cylinder to roll, but I'm not sure about inclined plane.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2003 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    If the cylinder is started from rest, it will just slide down without rolling. A friction force is required to exert the torque needed to start it spinning about its center.
  4. Dec 8, 2003 #3


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    More precisely, since gravitational force acts on every point of the object, it is the same as if it acted only on the "center of gravity"- since the net force is through the center of gravity there is not torque and so no rotation.
  5. Dec 8, 2003 #4
    Since all the forces are passing through COM and there is no physical interaction due to friction hence it must slide
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