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Rotational Kinetic Energy

  1. Oct 31, 2013 #1
    What happens if a ball goes from rolling on a surface to a frictionless surface? I know friction is required for the ball to roll, so would the rotational energy be transformed into translational energy (the ball goes faster without rolling), or does something else happen?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2013 #2
    My intuition tells me that the ball would keep rolling. What would be required to stop the ball from rolling? Well, friction, and since there is none, the ball keeps rolling. One would think that you wouldn't be able to tell when the ball transitions surfaces.
  4. Oct 31, 2013 #3


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    Friction is required to make the ball roll, but once it rolls, it will rotate further if no torque acts on it, according to conservation of angular momentum.

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