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Homework Help: Flywheel of a steam engine problem

  1. Jun 3, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    The flywheel of a steam engine runs with a constant angular speed of 156rev/min. When the steam is shut off, the friction of the bearings and of the air brings the wheel to rest in 2.20h. What is the tangential linear acceleration of a particle 52.4cm from the axis of rotation when the flywheel is turning at 72.5rev/min.

    2. Relevant equations

    At= r(alpha)

    I know what the radius is, so I must find angular acceleration.

    alpha = (Wf-Wi)/t


    At= (52.4cm)(-1.18rev/min^2)

    3. The attempt at confusion

    So now that I am done, I am left wondering why someone would put 72.5 rev/min in the equation. I was tempted to put that into my equation to find alpha, but then I am lacking time. I then turned towards my linear equivalent equations, but I am lacking time it takes to decelerate to 72.5 or the amount of rotations it takes to get that far. What am i meant to do?
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2007 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Its not unheard for a problem to contain extraneous information. You've correctly figured that the tangential acceleration is constant and you don't need the speed. If there is a followup question asking you to compute the radial acceleration? Then you will need the speed.
  4. Jun 3, 2007 #3
    Yeah the next one was calculate the total force, so I realized that the speed was simply used in omega^2(r), so that cleared it up. Thanks though, it had me for a bit
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