Free Rolling and Circular Motion
This applet shows the positon, velocity and acceleration vectors
of a point on the rim of a body rolling without slipping
on a stationary surface.
1. The term freely rolling means that there is no slipping (v=rw)
at the point of contact with the ground
--no skidding (v>rw) and no spinning in place (w>v/r),
where v,r and w are the linear speed, radius and
the angular speed of the rolling body.
2. The center of the wheel has a linear speed (with respect to ground)
equal to that of any point on its rim (with respect to center).
3. For circular motion (in the reference frame
moving with the velocity of the center of the rolling body) :
The acceleration a of a point always points in a direction
opposite the position vector r,
and the velocity vector V is perpendicular to both of them.
4. Observe the velocity vectors of a point on the rim
of the rolling body.
The white vector represents the velocity of the center
with resepect to ground and
the red vector represents the velocity of the point
with respect to the center.
The sum of these two vectors is the cyan vector
representing velocity of the point relative to ground.
5. The green curve shows the trajectory of a point on the rim.
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Last modified :
Thanks to Surendranath Reddy.B. for his contributions to this web page.
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