# Inclined Plane Physics: Cylinder vs. Superconductor

• cragar
In summary, the conversation discusses the comparison between a solid cylinder and a sliding object on an inclined plane. It is mentioned that the sliding object, specifically a superconductor, will always beat the cylinder due to some of the gravitational potential energy being used for rotational kinetic energy. It is also noted that the distribution of mass near the center of mass makes it easier to rotate an object. The conversation also addresses the effects of friction on the motion of the objects, with a low friction allowing the sliding object to win and a high friction favoring the cylinder. Finally, it is mentioned that there is a coefficient value for which both objects will reach the bottom of the incline at the same time.
cragar
Lets say I have an inclined plane and I roll a solid cylinder down it and slide a brick down it.
And let's say I slide the brick down on oil,Or better yet I slide a superconductor down and have It float above bar magnets. The superconductor moving down the plane will always beat the cylinder. We let them go from rest. Is this because some of the Gravitational potential energy goes into rotating the cylinder and not just sliding it down the ramp.

cragar said:
Is this because some of the Gravitational potential energy goes into rotating the cylinder and not just sliding it down the ramp.
Exactly. Whenever something rolls down an incline, some of the potential energy must be used for rotational kinetic energy instead of translational.

ok, thanks for your response. And it is easier to rotate something when the mass is distributed near the center of mass.

I could be difficult and say that you may not be making a 'fair' comparison here. Under conditions of no friction, the cylinder wouldn't actually start rolling, would it?

Right. You won't be able to roll anything without some friction. And if there's friction, something sliding will be slowed as well.

If rotational kinetic energy is the lesson to be communicated, I think a good example is the fact that a solid cylinder will reach the bottom of the incline before a hollow cylinder that has the same mass. The hollow cylinder has more of its mass distributed a greater distance from the center, therefore a greater moment of inertia, therefore greater final rotational KE, therefore less final translational KE.

sophiecentaur said:
I could be difficult and say that you may not be making a 'fair' comparison here. Under conditions of no friction, the cylinder wouldn't actually start rolling, would it?
Would the cylinder just slide then.
As long as the friction was low enough but not zero the sliding object would win.
Or maybe we should say that, there would be a point where if the friction was low enough the sliding object would beat the rolling object.

With no friction there would be no difference. With high friction , only the cylinder would get there. There would, presumably be a value of coefficient for which they will reach the bottom at the same time.

ok that makes sense. thanks for your answer.

## 1. How does the angle of the inclined plane affect the motion of the cylinder and superconductor?

The angle of the inclined plane affects the motion of the cylinder and superconductor by changing the force required to move the objects up or down the plane. As the angle increases, the force required to move the objects also increases.

## 2. What is the relationship between the mass of the objects and their acceleration on the inclined plane?

The relationship between the mass of the objects and their acceleration on the inclined plane is described by Newton's Second Law, which states that the acceleration of an object is directly proportional to the force applied to it and inversely proportional to its mass. This means that as the mass increases, the acceleration decreases.

## 3. How does friction affect the motion of the objects on the inclined plane?

Friction can affect the motion of the objects on the inclined plane by opposing their motion and reducing their acceleration. This means that the objects will require more force to move up the plane and will move slower down the plane due to the frictional force acting against them.

## 4. How do the properties of the cylinder and superconductor impact their motion on the inclined plane?

The properties of the cylinder and superconductor, such as their mass, shape, and surface characteristics, can impact their motion on the inclined plane. For example, a lighter object will require less force to move up or down the plane, while a smoother surface may reduce the frictional force acting on the object.

## 5. Is there a difference in the motion of the cylinder and superconductor on the inclined plane?

Yes, there is a difference in the motion of the cylinder and superconductor on the inclined plane. This is because the superconductor has the ability to levitate due to its unique properties, while the cylinder will experience the effects of gravity and friction on the inclined plane. Therefore, the superconductor will have a smoother and more sustained motion compared to the cylinder.

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