# Mechanical Energy: Solving for Speed of Ball at Lowest Point

• norcal
In summary, a thin rod with a heavy ball attached to one end is released from an angle and asked for the speed of the ball at the lowest point. The equations for work done by gravity and kinetic energy can be used to solve for the velocity of the ball. The value of W, which represents the work done by gravity, can be found by substituting the given values for L, theta, and m. This value can then be used in the equation for kinetic energy to solve for the velocity of the ball.

## Homework Statement

A thin rod, of length L and negligible mass, that can pivot about one end to rotate in a vertical circle. A heavy ball of mass m is attached to the other end. The rod is pulled aside through an angle and released.
What is the speed of the ball at the lowest point if L = 2.20 m, = 19.0°, and m = 500 kg?

W=mgd(cos theta)
KE=(1/2)mv^2

## The Attempt at a Solution

How do I get the velocity? Can I get it by using the above equations if I solve for W? Where do I plug the answer for W into find the velocity?

Do you know what W is as defined in your post ? Can you give it a name ?

W=work done

## 1. What is mechanical energy?

Mechanical energy is the energy possessed by an object due to its motion or position. It is the sum of an object's kinetic energy (energy of motion) and potential energy (energy of position).

## 2. How is mechanical energy related to speed?

According to the law of conservation of energy, mechanical energy is constant in a closed system. This means that as an object's speed increases, its potential energy decreases and its kinetic energy increases. Similarly, as an object's speed decreases, its potential energy increases and its kinetic energy decreases.

## 3. What is the formula for calculating mechanical energy?

The formula for mechanical energy is ME = KE + PE, where ME is mechanical energy, KE is kinetic energy, and PE is potential energy. To calculate the kinetic energy, use the formula KE = 1/2 * m * v^2, where m is the mass of the object and v is its velocity. To calculate potential energy, use the formula PE = m * g * h, where m is the mass of the object, g is the acceleration due to gravity, and h is the height of the object.

## 4. How do you solve for the speed of a ball at its lowest point using mechanical energy?

To solve for the speed of a ball at its lowest point, you can set the initial potential energy (at the highest point) equal to the final kinetic energy (at the lowest point). This is because at the highest point, the ball has no kinetic energy and all of its energy is in the form of potential energy. At the lowest point, the ball has no potential energy and all of its energy is in the form of kinetic energy. By setting these two energies equal to each other and solving for velocity, you can determine the speed of the ball at its lowest point.

## 5. What factors affect the speed of a ball at its lowest point?

The speed of a ball at its lowest point is affected by several factors, including the height at which it is released, its mass, and the force of gravity acting on it. The higher the ball is released from, the greater its potential energy and the faster it will be moving at its lowest point. Similarly, a heavier ball will have more kinetic energy and thus a faster speed at its lowest point. The force of gravity also plays a role, as a higher gravitational force will cause the ball to accelerate faster and reach a higher speed at its lowest point.