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Particle slides down sphere

  1. Aug 9, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A particle sits at the top of a fixed sphere of radius a. The particle is given a tiny nudge so that it begins to slide down the frictionless surface of the sphere. Consider the point at which the particle is still in contact with the sphere and its position is indicated by the value of the angle [tex]\theta[/tex].

    Use the conservation of energy principle to calculate the angular velocity, [tex]\omega[/tex], as a function of theta.

    2. Relevant equations

    Etotal = Ek + Ep

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Etot = 1/2*m*([tex]\omega[/tex])^2 -m*g*[tex]\theta[/tex]

    [tex]\omega[/tex] = (2*g*[tex]\theta[/tex])^1/2

    Please can anyone verify if I have completed this part correctly?
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2007 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    This is incorrect. Instead, write the total energy in terms of the usual variables of speed and height and then translate that into angular terms. (For a given linear speed, what's the angular speed? For a given height along the sphere, what angle does it make?)
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