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Moment of Inertia of a windmill or fan

  1. Feb 20, 2009 #1
    My lab partners and I did an experiment for my general physics class in which we constructed a windmill with wooden dowels. We added clay to the ends to set the concentration of mass about the ends. The distance (radius) of the clay balls from the center of the fixed axis is our control variable. We were looking for the relationship between the radius which I believe contributes to I (moment of inertia) and angular velocity. Am I right to think that a fan or windmill is just like a hoop?

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    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2009 #2


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    Welcome to PF.


    When you put the preponderance of the weight at a particular radius, jam a wad of clay at one radius, then that is acting like a hoop of that radius. But when you have an array of clay elements at different radii, then the resulting moment of inertia will need to take into account all of the contributions of all the moment elements.
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