1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

I don't understand a symbol used in this question

  1. Nov 11, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I have to derive the equation:

    [tex]I=\frac{m(g-R\alpha)R}{|\alpha_{friction}|+\alpha}[/tex]

    3. The attempt at a solution

    What is [tex]|\alpha_{friction}|[/tex] and how do i find it? And why do I use the absolute value of it? The experiment was that we had to measure the angular velocity of a rotating disk and we had to measure how much the speed went down due to friction. But in that case, it would just be the regular alpha.

    EDIT: I managed to derive it. But the question of why do we use the abs value still stands.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2009 #2

    Andrew Mason

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You will have to explain the set-up better. It looks possibly like a wheel on a flat surface that is given an angular acceleration by having a weight (mg) tied to the wheel edge drop. But that is just a guess.

    AM
     
  4. Nov 12, 2009 #3
    wow, how the hell did you manage to guess that right :)
     
  5. Nov 12, 2009 #4

    Andrew Mason

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Perhaps you could just give us the setup of the experiment. I am just guessing at this point. I still don't understand exactly where the friction term is coming from.

    AM
     
  6. Nov 12, 2009 #5
    You guessed it right

    There is a wheel that rotates. We attached a string to it's axle and a weight was attached to the string. We dropped the mass, that unwound the string, caused the axle to start spinning, and caused the disk to accelerate.
     
  7. Nov 12, 2009 #6

    Andrew Mason

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Ok. Well I didn't guess it quite right since I thought the mass was tied to the rim.

    Is the axle mounted on something? Does the wheel roll along the surface as the weight drops or does it just spin on the axle? It appears from the equation that the moment of inertia is about an axis a distance R from the centre of mass of the wheel.

    Again, can you give us the whole problem? In particular: is R the radius of the wheel? What is the radius of the axle?

    AM
     
  8. Nov 13, 2009 #7
    http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/3564/35005168.png [Broken]

    R is the radius of the wheel, and the whole device is clamped to the table
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  9. Nov 13, 2009 #8

    Andrew Mason

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Is R the radius of the wheel or the axle? You will need the radius of both the wheel and axle.

    AM
     
  10. Nov 13, 2009 #9
    R is the radius of the wheel, the instructions on my lab didnt say the R of the axle was necessary. and even though i appreciate the help, i had to hand in the work due to time constraints
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: I don't understand a symbol used in this question
Loading...