Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Name of the movement of a wheel

  1. Oct 8, 2004 #1
    I would really like someone to answer this simple question.

    I have searched the net and i cannot find the answer, i know i have only just read it but i cant remember where.

    Basically all i want to know is the name of the movement of a while when it is moving a vehicle (i dont mean around in a circle, it's the one where it arches over on each movement, like crawling when you drag your arms back, they remain still but your body moves forwards).

    Also can you show me a website that explains it? Just the website that explained would be fine but if you can explain it here i will be more than grateful.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2004 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Vertically, its simple harmonic motion. http://schutz.ucsc.edu/~josh/5A/book/harmonic/node9.html is a diagram. I'm not sure if the horizontal motion has a name.

    Edit: I guess horizontally, its also harmonic, but with a positive displacement. Take the sine or cosine graph and add 1.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  4. Oct 8, 2004 #3
    Thank you sir, that is almost what i was looking for, it isn't exactly it but it may help me find what i need!

    Im mainly thinking about the movement of the part of the wheel that touches the floor.

    ill draw a picture and upload it if i can. Dont laugh at my van gogh artist skills! :rofl:

    Basically im interested in the Red point of the wheel in that diagram. What is that motion / path of that point of the wheel called when it turns round and drives a machine?

    I hope the picture can help explain what i am trying to get at! :)

    Attached Files:

  5. Oct 8, 2004 #4
    That looks a bit like a sin^2 graph to me.

    If you plotted y= (sinx)^2 then you would get something very similar to that..
  6. Oct 8, 2004 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Petrushka, I believe the curve you are looking for is a cycloid. A cycloid is the path traced out by a point on the circumference of a moving wheel. For points inside and outside the wheel, you get epi- and hypo-cycloids.
  7. Oct 11, 2004 #6
    Absolutely BANG ON THE MONEY!
    thank you sir!
    i owe you a few drinks!! :smile:
  8. Oct 18, 2004 #7


    User Avatar

    its circular motion + linear motion to get the displacement
  9. Oct 19, 2004 #8
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2017
  10. Oct 19, 2004 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm known for not refusing such offers :tongue2:
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook