# Net angular acceleration of a two wheel system

• kostoglotov
In summary, the problem is that the person is trying to figure out how to calculate the net torque given the moment of inertia of the entire system and the two masses hanging from it. They are struggling to resolve how the forces and torque are interacting to produce the net torque. The solution is to use Newton's 2nd law to calculate the net torque, and to relate the linear accelerations of the masses with the angular acceleration of the cylinder.
kostoglotov

## Homework Statement

The problem

Direct imgur link to problem: http://i.imgur.com/QCc0zj6.jpg

## Homework Equations

$$\alpha = \frac{\tau_{net}}{I}$$

$$I = \frac{1}{2}MR^2$$

$$\tau = rF = rmg$$

## The Attempt at a Solution

I have figured that the moment of inertia of the entire system must be used for both torques pulling on the system, so the one I is

$$I = \frac{1}{2}(5.0\times (0.05)^2 + 20\times (0.10)^2)$$

So shouldn't the net angular acceleration just be the net torque of the two competing weights divided by the moment of inertia of the entire system?

$$\frac{0.10\times 2.5\times 9.8 + (- 0.05 \times 4.0 \times 9.8)}{\frac{1}{2}(5.0\times (0.05)^2 + 20\times (0.10)^2)} \approx 4.6 \frac{rad}{s^2}$$

[The second torque trying to turn CW, so therefore is negative torque.]

However, the answer from the back of the text says $3.5 \frac{rad}{s^2}$

What am I doing wrong? Do I need to consider this is terms of the tensions in the ropes instead? When considering the torque applied to the system by one hanging weight, does the other hanging weight count towards the moment of the inertia of the system?

kostoglotov said:
Do I need to consider this is terms of the tensions in the ropes instead?
Yes. It is the rope tension that acts on the cylinders, not the weight of the hanging masses.

Hint: Apply Newton's 2nd law three times.

Doc Al said:
Yes. It is the rope tension that acts on the cylinders, not the weight of the hanging masses.

Hint: Apply Newton's 2nd law three times.

Are the tensions in the ropes equal? The masses have different accelerations, though one is twice the other.

Doc Al said:
Yes. It is the rope tension that acts on the cylinders, not the weight of the hanging masses.

Hint: Apply Newton's 2nd law three times.

Since the angular acceleration for the entire system is the same throughout

$$\frac{\tau_1}{I} = \frac{\tau_2}{I} ?$$

$$\frac{r_1(m_1a_1+m_1g)}{I} = \frac{r_2(-m_2 \frac{1}{2}a_1+m_2g)}{I}$$

And now I just solve for a, and then solve for the angular acceleration knowing the radii...?

Last edited:
I am really struggling with this one.

I can see that the angular acceleration will be the same for the whole system, and so the tangential acceleration of the weight on the inner cylinder will be -1/2 the tangential acceleration of the weight on the outer cylinder.

I know that the net torque divided by the moment of inertia of the entire system will get me the angular acceleration. I am just struggling to resolve how the forces and torque are interacting to produce the net torque.

So, net torque will be +ve torque from 2.5 kg weight - 0.50 Nm from friction - torque from 4.0 kg weight. I am assuming that the CCW is the positive direction.

Ok, so the force creating the torque will be the tension in the rope minus the weight on the end of the rope.

I get $T_1 - 24.5 = 2.5a_1$ and $T_2 - 39.2 = 4.0a_2$, but $a_2 = -\frac{1}{2}a_1$ so $T_2 - 39.2 = -2.0a_1$

But I don't think the two tensions in the ropes are the same, they are different ropes, and the masses that they are supporting are undergoing differing linear accelerations.

I've tried $T_2 = \frac{\tau_{net}}{r_2}$ is this correct? Is the second tension raising the other weight the result of the overall torque divided by the radius of that particular cylinder. But subbing back into other equations gives an acceleration for the first dropping weight greater than gravity.

kostoglotov said:
Are the tensions in the ropes equal? The masses have different accelerations, though one is twice the other.
The tensions are not equal.

Yes, the acceleration of one mass is twice the other. Which has the greater acceleration ?

kostoglotov said:
Since the angular acceleration for the entire system is the same throughout

$$\frac{\tau_1}{I} = \frac{\tau_2}{I} ?$$
True, there is only one angular acceleration for the combined cylinders. However, it's the difference (or the sum) of the torques that produces the angular acceleration. Those quantities are not equal.

For the total moment of inertia (I), add the two separate cylinder moment of inertias together:
I = ( ½ * 5 * 0.05 ² ) + ( ½ * 20 * 0.1 ² )

Calculate the net torque (T) provided by the hanging masses.
Calculate the angular acceleration (in rad/sec) from ( as you said ) α = T / I

kostoglotov said:
Are the tensions in the ropes equal?
No.

kostoglotov said:
The masses have different accelerations, though one is twice the other.
Exactly. You'll need to relate the accelerations of the masses with the angular acceleration of the cylinder.

To make things easier, I recommend that you write equations for each mass and the cylinder, expressing Newton's 2nd law. That will give you three equations.

Using the relationship between the linear accelerations of the masses and the angular acceleration of the cylinder, you should be able to solve for the angular acceleration. (And you can solve for the other unknowns, if you like, such as the tension in the rope and the accelerations of the masses.)

Express everything symbolically. Don't plug in numbers until the very end.

dean barry said:
For the total moment of inertia (I), add the two separate cylinder moment of inertias together:
I = ( ½ * 5 * 0.05 ² ) + ( ½ * 20 * 0.1 ² )

Calculate the net torque (T) provided by the hanging masses.
Calculate the angular acceleration (in rad/sec) from ( as you said ) α = T / I

I did that it got the wrong answer...maybe I'm putting the friction factor in in the wrong way.

edit: Wait, there is no friction factor...great, that was a part of a different problem that got mixed in...

dean barry said:
For the total moment of inertia (I), add the two separate cylinder moment of inertias together:
I = ( ½ * 5 * 0.05 ² ) + ( ½ * 20 * 0.1 ² )

Calculate the net torque (T) provided by the hanging masses.
How are you proposing to find the net torque? The masses accelerate too.
You can handle that by including the masses in the MoI as well.

My previous post was wrong, it did not not account for the two hanging masses in the acceleration.
Apologies.
This problem can be solved by moving the cylinder(s) at an arbitrary constant rate (say 10 rad/sec) and calculating the KE of each part at that rate, then you can give each part a relative moi value by dividing its KE value by the KE value of the large cylinder and multiplying by the large cylinders moi.

dean barry said:
My previous post was wrong, it did not not account for the two hanging masses in the acceleration.
Apologies.
This problem can be solved by moving the cylinder(s) at an arbitrary constant rate (say 10 rad/sec) and calculating the KE of each part at that rate, then you can give each part a relative moi value by dividing its KE value by the KE value of the large cylinder and multiplying by the large cylinders moi.
As I wrote, your first method can be rescued by representing the hanging masses as moments of inertia. Can you see how to do that?

## 1. What is the definition of net angular acceleration?

Net angular acceleration is the rate at which the angular velocity of a two wheel system changes over time. It is a measure of how quickly the system is rotating, and in what direction.

## 2. How is net angular acceleration calculated?

Net angular acceleration can be calculated by taking the difference between the final and initial angular velocities of the system, and dividing it by the time it took for the change to occur. This can be represented by the formula: α = (ωf - ωi) / t.

## 3. What factors can affect the net angular acceleration of a two wheel system?

The net angular acceleration of a two wheel system can be affected by various factors, such as the mass and distribution of the wheels, the torque applied to the system, and any external forces acting on the system.

## 4. How does net angular acceleration relate to angular momentum?

Net angular acceleration and angular momentum are closely related, as angular momentum is the product of the moment of inertia and angular velocity, and net angular acceleration is the change in angular velocity over time. An increase in net angular acceleration will result in an increase in angular momentum, and vice versa.

## 5. Can the net angular acceleration of a two wheel system be negative?

Yes, the net angular acceleration of a two wheel system can be negative. This would indicate that the system is rotating in the opposite direction as the initial angular velocity, or that the rate of rotation is decreasing over time.

• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
571
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
30
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
459
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
22
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
8
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
32
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
67
Views
972
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
9
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
5
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
335
Views
9K