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Chapter 4: System of points

$= 4.1: Definition of System of points


A set of N physical points of masses mi is said a System of N points.
Centre of mass

Given a system of N points, each one of mass mi and vector displacement ri , the Center of Mass of the

system (CM) is defined as the (geometrical) point whose vector displacement rCM is:
N

mi ri
rCM iN (4.1.1)
mi i

Velocity and acceleration of the Centre of Mass

When the points of the system are moving, their vector displacements are functions of the time: therefore

also the CM is moving, with velocity vCM and acceleration aCM given by the corresponding derivatives:

N
dri N

mi
dt
mi v i
vCM i N iN (4.1.2)
mi mi i i
2
N
d ri N

i mi dt 2 m a i i
aCM N
i
N
(4.1.3)
m i
i m i
i

The CM has the following additive property.

Proof: given a set of N points, we can look at them as forming 2 disjoined subsystems of M (M<N) points
and N-M points respectively, the CMs of these 3 systems are:

N
M
N

mi ri mi ri m r i i
rCM i
N
; rCM 1 i 1
M
; rCM 2 i M 1
N
(4.1.4)
m i
i m
i 1
i m
i M 1
i

Lets define the following 2 masses of each subsystem:


M N
M1 mi ;M 2 m i (4.1.5)
i 1 i M 1
If we now consider each centre of mass CM1 and CM2 as 2 points having the masses M1 and M2 respectively,
we see that the centre of mass CM12 of CM1 and CM2 is, by definition:
M
N

M m r i i N m r i i

m i i 1
M
m i
i M 1
N



M 1 rCM 12 M 2 rCM 12
i 1
m i
i M 1
m i
rCM 12 i 1 i M 1

M1 M 2 M N

mi 1
i m
i M 1
i (4.1.6)
M
N
N

m r m r m r
i i i i i i

i 1
M
i M 1
N
i 1
N
rCM
m i 1
i m
i M 1
i m
i 1
i

where in the eq.(4.1.6) use has been done of (4.1.1) and 4.1.5).
We can conclude that the CM of a system compound by 2 subsystems is equal to the CM obtained
considering the centres of mass of the subsystems having all the subsystem mass concentrated inside.
In other words: the CM of 2 systems is the CM of their CMs.

Linear momentum of a system



The linear momentum PT of a system is defined as the sum of the linear momenta of each point of the system:
N
N

PT mi vi PT mi ai (4.1.7)
i i
N
From (4.1.2) and (4.1.3), defining M T mi as the total mass of the system, one gets:
i
N

PT ( mi ) v CM M T v CM PCM
i
(4.1.8)
N

PCM M T a CM mi a i PT
i

Kinetic energy of a system

The kinetic energy ET of a system is defined as the sum of the kinetic energies of each point of the system:
1 N
ET mi vi2 (4.1.9)
2 i

Kinetic energy transformation in moving reference systems with parallel axes



Let be (C, i , j , k ) and (C ' , i , j , k ) two reference systems with origins C and C moving with respect to each

other but maintaining their axes parallel. Let v C ' be the velocity of C with respect to C and v i and v i' be the

velocities of the i-th point of a physical system of N points, with respect to (C, i , j , k ) and

(C ' , i , j , k ) respectively. From the properties of the velocities in relative reference systems we can write the
total kinetic energy ET of the physical system as:

1 N 2 1 N ' 2 1 N 2 1 N '2 N '


ET
2 i
m v
i i
2 i
m i ( v C' v i ) (
2 i
m i ) v C'
2 i
m i i mi v C ' v i
v
i
(4.1.10)
1 2 N
' 1 2
M v C ' ET v C ' mi v i M v C ' ET v C ' PT
' ' '

2 i 2
1 N
N

where ET' mi vi'2 is the kinetic energy and PT' mi vi' is the linear momentum of the system as
2 i i
measured in the frame C.

Koenig theorem

A special case is when the origin C of the moving reference system coincides with the CM of the physical
P
system: C=CM. In this case v C ' v CM T , the scalar product cancels because the CM in a frame where
M
CM is the origin is by definition at rest and eq. (4.1.12) becomes:

1 2
ET M vCM ET' (4.1.11)
2
which shows the Koenig theorem

Angular momentum of a system



The angular momentum LTO of a system with respect to a pole O is defined as the sum of the angular

momenta LiO of each i-th point of the system with respect to the same pole O:

N N

LTO LiO (ri rO ) mi vi (4.1.12)
i i

The angular momentum transformation in moving reference systems with parallel axes

Let be (C, i , j , k ) and (C ' , i , j , k ) two reference systems with origins C and C moving with respect to each

other but maintaining their axes parallel. Let vC ' be the velocity of C with respect C and v i and v i' be the

velocities of the i-th point of a physical system of N points, with respect to (C, i , j , k ) and (C ' , i , j , k )
respectively. From the properties of the velocities in relative reference systems we can write the total angular

momentum LTO of the physical system, with respect to a pole O, as:
N N

LTO LiO (ri rO ) mi vi
i i
N

((ri ' rC ' ) (rO' rC ' )) mi (vC ' vi' )
i
(4.1.13)
N
N

((ri ' rO' ) mi vi' ) (ri ' rO' ) mi vC '
i i
N
'
LTO' (mi ri ' mi rO' ) vC ' LTO' M (rCM rO' ) vC '
i

A special case is when the pole O coincides with the CM of the physical system: O=CM. In this case
'
rCM rO' and the scalar product cancels and eq. (4.1.13) becomes:

LTO LTO' (4.1.14)

$= 4.2: Internal and external forces in a system of points

Definition of internal and external forces


On each of the N points of a system some forces are applied: some of these forces are produced by points not
belonging to the system and we shall call them external forces; e.g. if we consider a system of 3 particles of
masses m1, m2, m3, on a desk, the 3 gravity forces m1 g , m2 g , m3 g , are external forces because they are
due to the Earth, which is outside the system. The same holds for the 3 normal forces due to the desk.
On the other hand the gravitational forces applied by each mass to each other mass is produced by a point of
the system on another point of the system: we shall call this kind of forces internal forces.

In general, on the i-th point of a system there are some external forces whose sum we shall call Fi ; and there

are (N-1) forces Fij produced by the (N-1) other points on the i-th point; from this definition follows that the

sum Fi I of all the internal forces acting on the i-th point is given by:

N
Fi I Fij (4.2.1)
j 1

Theorem of the internal forces



Its easy matter to demonstrate the following theorem: the sum FT of all the forces acting on all the points of

a system is the sum F E of all external forces only.
Proof:
N N N N N
FT ( Fi Fij ) Fi Fij F E (4.2.2)
i 1 j 1 i 1 i 1 j 1

In fact in the 3-th member of the (9.2.2) the first sum contains only external forces, therefore is F E ; the

second double sum contains only internal forces and contains all pairs Fij and F ji . Remembering the III law
of the dynamics we get:
N N
Fij ( Fij F ji ) ( Fij Fij ) 0
i 1 j 1
(4.2.3)
pairs( i , j: j ,i ) pairs( i , j: j ,i )

As we wanted to proof.

Definition of internal and external torques

If a pole O has been chosen, as for the forces, on each i-th point of a system there are external torques (due

to external forces) whose sum we shall call Oi ; and internal torques Oi , j (due to the (N-1) internal forces);

again from this definition follows that the sum OI ,i of all the internal torques acting on the i-th point is given
by:
N

OI ,i Oi , j (4.2.4)
j 1

Theorem of the internal torques



As for the forces we can demonstrate the following theorem: the sum OT of all the torques acting on all the

points of a system is the sum OE of all external torques only if the internal forces between a point i and a

point j act along the direction ri r j joining i with j.

Proof:
T N
N
N
O Oi (ri rO ) ( Fi Fij )
i i 1 j 1
(4.2.5)
N N
N

(ri rO ) Fi (ri rO ) Fij OE
i 1 i 1 j 1

Where the 2nd term in the 4th member of Eq. (4.2.5) is equal to 0 because:
N
N
N N
N

i O ij i O ij (ri rO ) Fij (r j rO ) F ji
(
i 1
r r ) F ( r r ) F
j 1 i 1 j 1 pairs
N
N

(r r
pairs
i O ) Fij (r j rO ) Fij (r r
pairs
i O r j rO ) Fij (4.2.6)

N

(r r ) F
pairs
i j ij 0

Its useful to stress again that in the last equation of (4.2.6) the vector product is equal to 0 only in the

hypothesis that the internal forces between i and j act along the direction ri r j . It must be said that all the
forces between two physical points studied in the Chapter 3 satisfy this requirement.
Relationship between the torques made with respect different poles

If 2 poles O and O are present, we can write:


N
N
N

OT Oi (ri rO ) Fi E (ri rO ' rO ' rO ) Fi E
i i 1 i 1
(4.2.7)

N N

(ri rO ' ) Fi E (rO ' rO ) Fi E OT' (rO ' rO ) FTE
i 1 i 1

$=4.3: Cardinal Equations of the Dynamics of the Systems


The motion of a system of points obeys to 2 theorems that we are going to proof. They are called I and II
Cardinal equations of the dynamics of the systems.

I cardinal equation of the dynamics of the systems

Lets write the II law of the dynamics for each i-th point, using the definition of internal and external forces:

N
m1 a1 F1 F1 j
j 1

N
m1 a 2 F2 F2 j (4.3.1)
j 1

...... ......

If we add all left and all right members of the equations (4.3.1), recalling Eqs. (4.2.2) and (4.1.7) we have:
N
N N E
i i i ij
i
m a ( F
i 1
F ) F PT P
j 1
CM (4.3.2)

The equation: F E PT (4.3.3)

is said: I cardinal equation of the dynamics of the systems

II cardinal equation of the dynamics of the systems


We proceed in an analogous way as done for the forces in the I Cardinal Equation, writing:

dLiO
rO mi vi Oi , [i 1,2,...N ]
dt
(4.3.4)
and summing all N equations, getting:

dLTO N
dLiO N
N

(rO mi vi ) Oi
dt 1 dt 1 1
(4.3.5)
N

rO (mi vi ) OE rO PT OE
1
where use has been done of the definition (4.2.4) and of the theorem of the internal torques (4.2.5).

dLTO
The eq. : rO PT OE (4.3.6)
dt
is said II cardinal equation of the dynamics of the systems

$=4.4: Energy and work of the Systems

Lets define the total work W A,B , made by a system of N points, each one going from the point Ai to the
point Bi through the path i under the effect of external and internal, conservative and not conservative
forces (Ei(Ai), Ei(Bi) are the kinetic energy in the points Ai,Bi, while A,B and are symbols and stay
for: A ( A1 , A2 , A3 ... AN ) , B ( B1 , B2 , B3 ...BN ) , ( 1 , 2 , 3 ... N ) ): now we can write the theorem of the
work and kinetic energy for each of the N points of the system as:

Bi N

Ei ( Bi ) Ei ( Ai ) ( Fi E Fij ) dri U i ( Ai ) U i ( Bi ) W AiNC, Bi , i (4.4.1)
Ai , i
j 1

where the works of the conservative and not conservative forces have been split (with the usual notation for
the potential energy, for the initial and final point, for the path ).
Adding both members of the (1.4.1) for all N points and remembering the definition of total work and total
kinetic and potential energy we get:

ET ( B) ET ( A) U T ( A) U T ( B) WANC
, B , (4.4.2)

Eq. (4.4.2) is the theorem of the work and kinetic energy for a system

Remarks:
The theorem of the work and kinetic energy for a system looks similar to that one for a point: it is
noteworthy that in this theorem the internal forces dont cancel!

Potential energy of a system when some internal forces are conservative


Lets suppose that 2 physical points, named by indexes 1 and 2, lie in the positions A1 ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and
A2 ( x2 , y 2 , z 2 ) respectively and each point applies a conservative force on the other one. Let U1 ( A1 ; A2 ) and
U 2 ( A2 ; A1 ) be the potential energy functions of each point due to the force applied by the other point when
this latter (the point beyond the semi-column) is at rest. We examine the case in which the following
hypothesis is valid:

U1 ( A1 ; A2 ) and U 2 ( A2 ; A1 ) depend only on the relative distance A1 A2 A2 A1 between the points and their
expressions are symmetric with respect the exchange ( A1 ; A2 ) ( A2 ; A1 ) , i.e.:

U1 ( A1 ; A2 ) U1 ( A1 A2 ) U 2 ( A2 ; A1 ) U 2 ( A2 A1 ) U ( A1 A2 ) U ( A2 A1 ) (4.4.3)

is satisfied.

As an example of symmetry with respect the exchange ( A1 ; A2 ) ( A2 ; A1 ) lets consider 2 masses m1 , m2 ,


located in A1 ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and A2 ( x2 , y 2 , z 2 ) respectively, at a distance
d ( x2 x1 ) 2 ( y 2 y1 ) 2 ( z 2 z1 ) 2 . The gravitational potential energy of m1 in the field of m2 is:
m1 m2
U 1 ( A1 ; A2 ) U 1 ( x1 , y1 , z1 ; x2 , y 2 , z 2 )
( x2 x1 ) 2 ( y 2 y1 ) 2 ( z 2 z1 ) 2
Analogously the gravitational potential energy of m2 in the field of m1 is:
m2 m1
U 2 ( A2 ; A1 ) U 2 ( x2 , y 2 , z 2 ; x1 , y1 , z1 )
( x1 x2 ) 2 ( y1 y 2 ) 2 ( z1 z 2 ) 2

It is clear that: U1 ( A1 ; A2 ) U 2 ( A2 ; A1 ) . Therefore, the gravitational potential is symmetric with respect the
exchange ( A1 ; A2 ) ( A2 ; A1 )
One can easily demonstrate that this hypothesis is satisfied not only for gravitation but also for the
electrostatic and elastic forces.
Before examine the simultaneous motion of the points from the positions A1 and A2 to positions B1 and B2 ,
lets consider them separately.

To evaluate the total work made by the system, lets suppose first that only point 1 moves from A1 to B1 ,
while point 2 remains at rest in A2 . The work done by point 1 is:

W1 ( A1 ; B1 ) U1 ( A1 A2 ) U1 ( B1 A2 ) (4.4.4)
At this stage, the potential energy of point 2 becomes U ( A2 B1 ) due to the displacement of point 1. Now point
2 moves from A2 to B2 while point 1 remains in B1 . The work done by point 2 is:

W2 ( A2 ; B2 ) U 2 ( A2 B1 ) U 2 ( B2 B1 ) (4.4.5)
The total work of the system is:

W ( A1 A2 B1 B2 ) W1 ( A1 ; B1 ) W2 ( A2 ; B2 )
(4.4.6)
U ( A1 A2 ) U ( B1 A2 ) U ( A2 B1 ) U ( B2 B1 ) U ( A1 A2 ) U ( B2 B1 )

In conclusion: the total work is equal to the difference of initial and final potential energy of one point
with respect to the other.
Still remains to discuss the case of simultaneous motion of both points: the total path A1 A2 B1 B2 can be
imagined as done in the same way in 2 steps, A1 A2 C1C2 and C1C2 B1 B2 , where C1C 2 are intermediate
positions. Applying eq. (4.4.6) to both steps, we have:

W ( A1 A2 B1 B2 ) U ( A1 A2 ) U ( B1 B2 ) U ( A1 A2 ) U (C1C2 ) U (C1C2 ) U ( B2 B1 ) (4.4.7)



Repeating for further intermediate steps until reaching A1 A2 A1 dr1 , A2 dr2 , where the displacement is
infinitesimal as well as the time interval dt , we have a situation in which the motion of both points is
practically simultaneous and the total work, made by the sum of infinitesimal consecutive works, is given by
eq. (4.4.6).

Remark: the above discussion is easily extended to the case of a system of several points moving from the
initial position A ( A1 , A2 , A3 ... AN ) to the final position B ( B1 , B2 , B3 ...BN ) through the
trajectory ( 1 , 2 , 3 ... N ) .

$=4.5: Conservation theorems for the Systems

Conservation of the mechanical energy

From the theorem of the work and kinetic energy for a system it is easy to deduce the conservation of the
total mechanical energy (defined as kinetic + potential) of a system when all forces are conservative. In this
, B , 0 and Eq. (4.4.2) becomes:
case W ANC

ET ( B) U T ( B) U T ( A) ET ( A) (4.5.1)

It is useful to stress again that both the internal and external forces contribute to the not conservative work:
therefore the conservation requires that both the internal and external forces be conservative.

Conservation of the total linear momentum

From the I cardinal equation of the dynamics of the systems (4.3.2) it is easy to deduce, in absence of

external forces (i.e. F E 0 ), that :
a) the total linear momentum is constant
b) the linear momentum of the CM is constant

It must be remarked that the I cardinal equation is a vector equation: therefore it splits into 3 scalar
equations. Sometimes only 1 or 2 components of the external forces are zero: in this case only the
corresponding component of the linear momentum is constant.

Conservation of the total angular momentum

From the II cardinal equation of the dynamics of the systems (4.3.4) it is easy to deduce that, in absence of

external torques (i.e. OE 0 ), the total angular momentum is constant if the pole is the CM of the system or
is at rest. As for the linear momentum, it must be remarked that the II cardinal equation is a vector equation:
therefore it splits into 3 scalar equations. Sometimes only 1 or 2 components of the external torques are zero:
in this case only the corresponding component of the angular momentum is constant.

$=4.6: Exercises

Ex. n. 4.6.1

On a platform, of mass M=20 [kg], located on a horizontal road, there is a man with a bicycle: the total mass
of the man and the bicycle is m=90 [kg] and between the bicycle and the platform there is friction, while
there is no friction between the platform and the road. Initially all 3 (man, bicycle and platform) are at rest:
then the man starts to ride the bicycle in some direction until it leaves out the platform. When the bicycle

leaves the platform and touches the road its velocity is v = 6[ m/s]. Which is the velocity V of the
platform? (the platform is supposed to be very thin: the motion of the bicycle is always horizontal)

Solution:
All external forces along the direction of the motion of the bicycle (x axis) on the system man + bicycle +
platform are null: therefore the x component of the total linear momentum (initially 0 because all masses are
at rest) is conserved:
m
0 MV mv V v
M

Ex. n. 4.6.2

A man is jogging on a horizontal road with a velocity v 0 8.0[m / s] , which corresponds, to his maximum
performance. In front of him there is a very thin platform of mass M=20 [kg], rough on the upper surface
and frictionless in the lower one. The man jumps over it and tries to continue to run. However, he slides and
falls down on the platform. He gets up slowly, stands up some moments on the platform and starts to run
again in the same direction, until reaches the boundary of the platform and jumps down on the road. At that
time he reaches the boundary of the platform, he reaches the maximum performance on the platform.

Which are the velocities v1 of the man and V1 of the platform when the man gets up on the platform, before

starting to run again? Which are the velocities v 2 of the man and V2 of the platform when the man jumps
off the platform?

Solution:
When the jogger is on the platform all external forces along the direction of the motion of the jogger (x axis)
are null. Therefore, the x component of the total linear momentum is conserved:

mv0 MV mv mv0 MVx mvx
When the man stands up, both velocities are equal, v x Vx , therefore:
m
mv0 MVx mVx Vx v0
M m

When the man jumps off, his velocity with respect to the platform is again v 0 :
mv0 MV2 mv2 MV2 m(v0 V2 ) V2 0; v2 v0

Ex. n. 4.6.3

On a platform, of mass M=20 [kg], located on a horizontal, frictionless road, a spring of elastic constant
K=1000 [N/m] and rest length L0 = 0.5[m] has an end fixed on the platform and the other one in contact
with a mass m = 5[kg]. In addition, the contact between m and the platform is frictionless. Initially the
spring length is L = 0.2[m] and is released. Find the velocity V of the platform and v of m when the spring
reaches the length L0.

Solution:
m
0 mv MV K ( L0 L) 2 mv 2 (1 )
which gives: M
K 1 1
( L0 L) 2 mv 2 MV 2 m
2 2 2 V v
M

Ex. n. 4.6.4

On a platform, of mass M=20 [kg], located on a horizontal, frictionless road, a spring of elastic constant
K=1000 [N/m] and rest length L0 = 0.5[m] has an end fixed on the platform and the other one in contact
with a mass m = 5[kg]. Between m and the platform there is friction and the dynamic friction coefficient
is d 0.5 . Initially the spring length is L = 0.2[m] and is released. Find:
a) the velocity V of the platform and v of m when the spring reaches the length L0
b) The velocity of m and M when m stops on the carriage
c) The distance d from the point where m stops and the position at rest of the spring

Solution:
0 mv MV
a) 1 1 K (1)
mv 2 MV 2 ( L0 L) 2 d mg ( L0 L)
2 2 2
which, calling a 2 the second member of the second equation of (1) gives:
2a 2
m v
2
V v m(1 m M )
M (2)
m
mv MV 2a
2 2 2
V v
M
a) When m stops on (with respect to) the carriage, both m and M have the same velocity V f ; the
linear momentum is still conserved , therefore:

mv MV mV f MV f ; from (1): 0 mv MV mV f MV f V f 0 (3)

b) To find d, we apply the work theorem from L0 to the stop point, along which the dissipative
force (friction) produces a work W ( NC) d mg d :
1 1 1 mv 2 MV 2
(m M ) V f2 ( mv 2 MV 2 ) d mg d d
2 2 2 2 d mg

Remarks:
a) the value 2a 2 ( K ( L0 L) 2 d mg)( L0 L) is given positive in this exercise. Nevertheless, this
condition is necessary if the spring elongates until the rest position. In fact, the minimum value of the
final kinetic energy in (1) is zero: if ( K ( L0 L) 2 d mg)( L0 L) 0 , the rest position cannot be
reached by m

Ex. n. 4.6.5

A toy-cannon is made by a horizontal pipe of length l=0.3 [m] containing a spring inside, mounted on a
carriage. The carriage has very small and light (massless) wheels, which allow it to move along a straight
line on the horizontal plane. A small ball of mass m= 0.05 [kg] can be inserted inside the pipe in contact
with the compressed spring. Pushing a button, the spring expands and shoots the ball. The internal surface of
the pipe is completely frictionless. When the wheels are fixed on the floor and the gun shoots, the modulus
of the velocity of the ball at the exit from the gun
pipe is v0=10 [m/s]. Find the velocity of the
bullet and the velocity of the carriage when gun
shoots and wheels are free to move, being M=
0.8 [kg] the mass of the gun and the carriage
together and no friction nor viscosity is present.

Solution:
Lets take a reference system with the horizontal x-axis in the direction of the pipe, positively oriented as the
final velocity of the bullet.
When the cannon is fixed on the floor, the potential energy U 0 stored inside the spring becomes kinetic
1
energy of the bullet because no dissipative forces are present: U 0 mv02
2
When the wheels are free to move, along x (horizontal axis) there is not any external force, therefore the x
component of the total linear momentum is constant.
Moreover, the external forces (gravity, normal on the gun) and the internal forces (elastic and normal
between bullet and pipe) are conservative or do not make any work: therefore, also the total mechanical
energy is conserved. Calling v and V the x components, after the shoot, of the velocities of the bullet and
cannon respectively, we can write the equations:

m2
0 mv MV V v0
mv MV M ( M m)
1 1 1
U 0 mv02 mv 2 MV 2 mv02 mv 2 MV 2 M
2 2 2 v v0
M m
Remark: the negative solution of v corresponds to the symmetric problem in which the spring and m are
located in mirror position (but same x-axis orientation).

Ex. n. 4.6.6

On a horizontal frictionless plane, 2 cords of the same length l have one end fixed in the point O and on the
other ends have 2 pointlike masses m1 and m2: between the masses there is a
very short spring, kept compressed in such a way that its potential energy is U0.
Both masses are not stuck to the spring. With a good approximation we can
assume that both masses are in the same point A. At the time t=0 the spring is
released. Find the angular velocities of the masses and the angle with respect
to the direction OA where they will meet.
DATA: U 0 500[ J ]; l 0.5[m]; m1 0.1[ Kg ]; m2 0.2[ Kg ];
Solution:
0 l m1v1 l m2 v 2
1 1
U0 m1v12 m2 v 22
2 2
v1
1
l
v
2 2
l
2
1 t 2 t 2 t
1 2
1 1 t

$=4.7: Collisions
The collision between 2 bodies
Lets consider the case of two bodies that initially dont interact with each other and at a certain time t0 they
start to interact for a limited time interval t in absence of external forces. After t they stop again to
interact. This phenomenon is said collision. Sometimes the external forces are present during t but they
are very small, negligible with respect to the internal forces.
As an example we can think to a bullet shot by a gun when hits a coin thrown in he air: before and after the
contact the bullet and the coin dont interact: during the contact their reciprocal forces are very intense and
the gravity and the viscosity of the air are much smaller and negligible.
The 2 bodies which collide form a system of 2 points. During a collision the external forces are absent or
negligible: this means that the total linear momentum is constant before and after the collision, as well as the
angular momentum when the pole is at rest or coincides with the CM of the 2 bodies.
On the other hand the work theorem is always valid and we can use it being cautious that the work of the
internal forces must be taken into account (this is nor always simple nor possible).

Lets suppose that a body of mass M and velocity V0 collides with a body of mass m, initially at rest: lets
call V e , v e the moduli of their velocities and their angles with respect the initial velocity, after the
collision (see Fig.).
To describe the collision we can choose a reference system having the x and y axes in the plane containing

the initial velocity V0 and the final velocity V of M and let choose the x axis along the direction of V0 . The

z component of the initial linear momentum obviously is 0 and this implies that also v lies on the (xy) plane
because the linear momentum is conserved in the collision.
We can write the conservation of the linear momentum and the theorem of the work as:

MV0 MVx mvx

0 MV y mv y (4.7.1)

1 M (V x2 V y2 ) 1 m(v x2 v x2 ) 1 MV02 WifT
2 2 2

Taking into account the relationships between components, moduli and angles, we can also write:

MV0 MV cos mv cos

0 MV sin mv sin (4.7.1.a)


1 1 1
MV 2 mv 2 MV02 WifT
2 2 2

There are some special cases of collisions:

1) Elastic collision: when the total kinetic energy is conserved (i.e. when WifT 0 )

2) One dimensional elastic collision: when the total kinetic energy is conserved and both V , v are parallel

3) Completely (totally) inelastic collision: when the final velocities are equal (i.e. V v )

Lets examine all these cases.

1) Elastic collision
In order to study the elastic collisions it is more convenient to use Eq. (4.7.1.a) instead of Eq. (4.7.1). If
Cartesian components are necessary, one can transform the result. From the definition of elastic collisions,
we can write:

MV0 MV cos mv cos

0 MV sin mv sin (4.7.2)
1 1 1
MV 2 mv 2 MV02
2 2 2

We can immediately remark that the unknowns in Eq. (4.7.2) are four, ( V , v, , ), with 3 equations: the
problem can be solved only if one of these quantities is known. The most frequent case is when 1 angle, lets
suppose , is measured. In order to solve Eq. (4.7.2) in this case we can multiply by 2 the III equation, move
all terms with M on the left, square the first and second equations, add I and II and subtract the III equation
to the result, getting:

M 2 (V02 V 2 2V0 V cos ) m 2 v 2 m2


cos sin 2
M 2
m v sin M V sin V M V0 (4.7.3)
M (V 2 V 2 ) m v 2 M m
0

2) One dimensional elastic collision

It is defined as the case in which the velocities of both bodies after the collision are along x. In fact it is
sufficient that one body remains along the x direction and from the II of (4.7.2) we have that also the other
body remains along x, i.e.:

( 0; ) ( 0; ) (4.7.4)
which means that the y components will be always 0. It must be remarked that the angles 0 and in this
case produce the signs + or in front of the moduli of the velocities: therefore we must consider V and v as
moduli with sign, i.e. components. Writing the eq. (4.7.2) in this case:

MV0 MV mv

1 1 1 (4.7.5)
MV02 MV 2 mv 2
2 2 2
we get 2 solutions: a) V0 V ; v 0 (4.7.6)
M m 2M
b) V V0 ; v V0 (4.7.7)
M m M m

Remarks for solution b): (v>0) and (V>0 or V<0), depending on the ratio m/M.

3) Totally-inelastic collision

If the final velocities are equal, also their y components must be the equal: V y v y and from the II of (4.7.1)
we get: V y v y 0
i.e. the totally inelastic collision is always one dimensional. Therefore Eq. (4.7.1) becomes:

M
MV0 MV mV V M m V0

1 1 1 (4.7.8)
MV 2 mV 2 MV02 WifT 1 MV 2 1 mV 2 1 MV 2 W T
2 2 2 2 0 if
2 2
The II eq. of (4.7.8) allows to evaluate the work of the internal forces.

$=4.8: Exercises

Ex. n. 4.8.1

On a horizontal frictionless desk, a cube of mass m1 is tossed to collide with a velocity v 0 against another

cube of mass m2 at rest. After the collision m2 moves parallel to v 0 . Knowing that the internal forces are only

normal forces, calculate the velocities v and V of both cubes after the collision.

DATA: v0 5[m / s] ; m1 1[kg] ; m2 2[kg]
Solution:
Internal forces are only normal, which doesnt produce work. Therefore the kinetic energy is conserved and
the solution is that one of Eq. 4.7.5

Ex. n. 4.8.2

On a horizontal frictionless desk a bullet of mass m1 is shot with a velocity v 0 against a wooden cube of

mass m2 at rest. The bullet penetrates into the cube and quickly stops inside. Calculate the velocities v and

V of both bullet and cube after the collision.

DATA: v0 5[m / s] ; m1 1[kg] ; m2 2[kg]
Solution:
The final velocity is the same for both: it is the totally inelastic scattering, Eq. 4.7.8

Ex. n. 4.8.3

On a horizontal frictionless desk a bullet of mass m1 is shot with a velocity v 0 against a wooden cube of

mass m2 at rest. The bullet penetrates into the cube and overcomes it, having a velocity v after the exit.

Calculate the velocity V of the cube after the collision and the work done by the internal forces .

DATA: v0 5[m / s] ; v 2[m / s] m1 1[kg] ; m2 2[kg]

Ex. n. 4.8.4
A car A of mass m = 900[Kg] is going along a rectilinear street at velocity V0 and crashes against another car
B of mass M = 1200[Kg] which is at rest in front. After the collision car A is deviated by an angle from the
initial direction, while car B is pushed at an angle against a wall where it crashes again and stops. A
Policeman measures the angles = 20 and = 30 and the distance d = 16[m] along which car A creeps
until the complete stop. The dynamical friction coefficient between car A and the road is d = 0.5. The
Policeman wants to know whether v0 was greater than the max speed limit (50 km/h) and an Insurance Agent
is interested to know the total work spent by both cars to produce the damage to their bodies. Help the
Policeman and the Agent to answer their questions.

Solution:

Lets assume the x axis in the direction of the velocity v 0 and y axis perpendicular to x, both horizontal.
Since the clash produces deformations on the bodies of the cars, the collision is partially inelastic, i.e. there
is a dissipation of the initial kinetic energy into deformation. Lets call v and V the velocities of A and B just
after they exit from the collision point (before B clashes against the wall). The conservation of the linear
momentum and the theorem of the (deformation WifD ) work are (see eq. 4.7.1a):

mv0 MV cos mv cos

0 MV sin mv sin
1 1 1
MV 2 mv 2 mv02 WifD
2 2 2
Since car A after the collision stops due to dynamical friction in a path d, the theorem of the work
allows us to find the kinetic energy from:
1 2
mv d mgd E v 2 d gd
2
Using the above equation system we find all the other unknowns:

m sin
V M sin v

M
v0 V cos mv cos
m
D 1 1 2 1 2
Wif 2 MV 2 mv 2 mv0
2


Therefore: the value of v0 is the information for the policeman. The work corresponding to the damage of
both cars after the collision is WifD , while the work corresponding to the further damage of B when clashes
1 2
against the wall is the total kinetic energy mv of B dissipated onto the wall.
2

Ex. n. 4.8.5

A pendulum has a length L and a spherical wooden ball of mass M and is at


rest on the vertical. A bullet of mass m is shot against the ball with a

horizontal velocity v 0 . The bullet penetrates into the ball and stops inside.
When it stops the displacement of M with respect to the vertical is practically
negligible. The whole system (m+M) reaches an angle at the maximum

height. Find the initial velocity v 0 of the bullet.
DATA: L=1 [m]; M= 5 [kg]; m=50[g]; 35

Solution
Lets assume the z axis horizontal, passing through O and perpendicular to

the velocity v 0 ; O is also the chosen pole.
1 step) Collision m against M
The external force gravity is negligible with respect to the intensity of the internal forces between bullet and
M, therefore we can neglect the gravitational torque. The tension does not produce any torque along z,
therefore the z component of the angular momentum remains constant:
m
L z ) : lmv0 l (m M ) V V v0
mM
2 step) (m+M) rising up to the angle :
Dissipative forces are absent: mechanical energy is conserved.
1 mM
(m M ) V 2 (m M ) gl (1 cos ) v0 2 gl (1 cos )
2 m

Ex. n. 4.8.5B

A pendulum has a length L and a spherical wooden ball of mass M and is


at rest on the vertical. A bullet of mass m is shot against the ball with a
horizontal velocity v0. The bullet penetrates into the ball and stops inside.
When it stops the displacement of M with respect to the vertical is
practically negligible. Find the height reached by the ball.

DATA: L=1 [m]; M= 5 [kg]; m=50[g]; v 0 = 300 [m/s]
Solution

Ex. n. 4.8.6

A spring of elastic constant K=1000 [N/m] and rest length l0 = 0.5[m] has one end connected to a wall B
fixed on a platform lying on a horizontal road. The other end A is at a distance l0 from B, on the platform.
The total mass of the system is M=20 [kg]. A
cubic mass m=0.5[kg] lies on the platform in
C at a distance L = 0.6[m] from A. No
friction is present between m and the platform
nor between the platform and the road (which
is equivalent to say that platform and cube
have very small wheels of negligible mass).
Initially both m and M are at rest: m is kicked

and gets a velocity v 0 toward A, on the platform, and collides with the spring. Find the velocities v and V of
m and M when a) the collision is ended and b) the minimum length is reached by the spring and find the
maximum compression of the spring.

Solution

Lets assume the x axis horizontal, in the direction of the velocity v 0 .
All external forces along x axis on the system m + platform are null: therefore the x component of the total
linear momentum is conserved: moreover all forces are conservative or dont produce work and the total
energy is conserved too.

mv0 mv MV
1 2 1 2 1 1
mv0 mv MV 2 K (l l 0 ) 2
2 2 2 2

Ex. n. 4.8.7

Solve the previous exercise when the friction between the cube and the platform is not negligible, assuming
the dynamical friction coefficient be 0.5.

Ex. n. 4.8.8

A U-shaped horizontal pipe of very small diameter is fixed on a trolley, initially at rest on 2 rectilinear rails.
The pipe is made by a half circle of radius R=10 [cm] and 2 rectilinear arms. The total mass of pipe and
trolley is M = 2 [kg]. A small spherical bullet of mass m =0.01 [kg ] is shot inside one arm with a horizontal
velocity v0=50[m/s]. Find:
a) the velocities vC and
VC of the bullet and of
the trolley respectively
when the bullet is in C
on the second arm, if
no friction is present
everywhere
b) the velocities vB and
VB of the bullet and of
the trolley when the
bullet is on the middle
of the half circle, in
the position B.
Data: R=10 [cm]; M = 2 [kg]; m =0.01 [kg ]; v0=50[m/s]
Solution: lets choose the x axis along one rail, and y-axis horizontal and perpendicular to the rails.
In the system made by m and M, the list of the forces is:
1) 2 vertical gravity forces on m: conservative and external
2) 1 vertical normal from road to carriage external and not working
3) 2 normal forces from both rails to the carriage, along y-axis: both external and not working
4) 2 normal forces (from m to M and vice-versa) during the half circular path
Therefore, no dissipative forces are present and the total mechanical energy is conserved everywhere.
Moreover, the only conservative force (gravity) has no change in the potential because both m and M
remain at the same height and the mechanical energy is kinetic energy.
The external forces are 0 along x-axis everywhere, therefore the total linear momentum along x is
conserved. In the point C we can write:

mv0 mvC MVC


m(v0 vC ) MVC
a) 1 2 1 2 1 (1)
mv0 mvC MVC 2
m(v02 vC2 ) MVC2
2 2 2
Squaring in (1) the upper eq. and multiplying by M the lower one, then equating the left members, in the
hypothesis that v0 vC , we have
mM
m( v 0 v C ) M ( v 0 v C ) v C v0
mM
(2)
m 2m
VC (v 0 v C ) v0
M mM
Remark: system (2) is the solution of the one-dimensional elastic collision: in fact the dissipative forces are
absent, therefore the total mechanical energy is conserved. Since the gravitational potential energy does not
change, the total kinetic energy is conserved.

b) In the point B we write again the conservation of the x component of the linear momentum and the
mechanical energy, but must take into account that the velocity of the bullet in B has 2 components, v Bx and
vBx . Let us observe that v Bx VB . Then, the 2 conservation equations become:
m
mv0 mvBx MVB v Bx VB v0
mM
1 2 1 2 1 2 1 (3)
mv0 mvBx mvBy MVB2 M
2 2 2 2 v 2
By v02 v Bx
2
VB2
m

Ex. n. 4.8.9

Solve the previous exercise when the same pipe is vertical, i.e. with one arm over the second one, at a height
2R up. Find:
a) the velocities vC and VC of the bullet
and of the trolley respectively when the
bullet is in C on the second arm, if no
friction is present everywhere
b) the velocities vB and VB of the bullet
and of the trolley when the bullet is on the
middle of the half circle, in the position B.

Data: R=10 [cm]; M = 2 [kg]; m =0.01 [kg ];


v0=50[m/s]

Solution: lets choose the x axis along the rails and y-axis perpendicular to the rails.
In the system made by m and M, the list of the forces is:
1. 2 vertical gravity forces on m: conservative and external
2. 1 vertical normal from road to carriage external and not working
3. 2 normal forces from both rails to the carriage, along y-axis: both external and not working
4. 2 normal forces (from m to M and vice-versa) during the half circular path
Therefore, no dissipative forces are present and the total mechanical energy is conserved. In this case, the
only conservative force (gravity) has one change in the potential because m raises up, while M remains at
the same height. Moreover, the external forces are null along x-axis, therefore the total linear momentum
along x is conserved. Therefore in C we can write:

mv0 mvC MVC


m(v0 vC ) MVC
a) 1 2 1 2 1
mv0 mvC MVC2 2mgR m(v02 vC2 ) MVC2 4mgR
2 2 2
With algebraic passages like in Ex. 4.8.8 one gets:
gR m M
m M 1 4 ( )
v02 M m M
vC v0 v0 (1 ) (with 1 4 gR ( m M ) )
mM mM m v2 M
0
m m
VC (v 0 v C ) v0 (1 )
M mM
Remarks: 1) the radicand must be positive or null, i.e. initial velocity should be big enough or R
short enough to allow m reaching the top of the pipe; 2) only the solution with negative sign must
be kept, because the positive sign gives a value of m in C greater than M, which is impossible.
b) In the point B we write again the conservation of the x component of the linear momentum and the
mechanical energy, keeping in mind that the velocity of m has also a y-component in B

m
mv0 mvBx MVB v Bx VB v0
mM
1 2 1 2 1 2 1
mv0 mvBx mvBy MVB2 mgR M mM 2
2 2 2 2
2
v By v02 v Bx
2
VB2 2 gR v0 2 gR
m mM
2 2
Remarks: Since v By is positive, v By must be great enough to allow m reaching B.

Ex. n. 4.8.10
On the same trolley of the previous exercise 4.8.9,
the pipe is not U-shaped: the 2 arms are
perpendicular to each other, connected by a quarter
of circle AB of radius R. The pipe is vertically fixed
on the trolley. Find the maximum height h reached
by the bullet (in the point C).
Data: R=10 [cm]; M = 2 [kg]; m =0.01 [kg ];
v0=50[m/s]

Solution:

Lets assume the x axis horizontal, in the direction of the velocity v 0 .
The external forces are null along x axis; along y axis there is gravity, which is conservative. Internal forces
are not dissipative because all friction is absent. Therefore the x component of the total linear momentum
along x (horizontal direction) is conserved as well as the total mechanical energy. Along the vertical branch
of the pipe m has 2 components of the velocity, one v x along x equal to the velocity V of M and the other one
v y along y , which becomes null in C. The conservation equations are:

mv0 MV mvx m
V vx v0
1 2 1 1 (m M )
mv0 MV 2 m(v x2 v y2 (C )) mgh
2 2 2 M
h v02
v y (C ) 0 2 g ( M m)
Ex. n. 4.8.10 B

In the same system bullet-carriage as in the exercise 4.8.10, the height h of the vertical branch of the pipe is
half of the max height reachable by m, (found in Ex. 4.8.10). Find the velocities of the ball and the trolley
when the ball exits from the pipe.
M
Data: R=10 [cm]; M = 2 [kg]; m =0.01 [kg ]; v0=50[m/s]; h v02
4 g ( M m)

Solution:

Lets assume the x axis horizontal, in the direction of the velocity v 0 .
As in the previous exercise, the external forces are null along x axis; along y axis there is gravity, which is
conservative. Internal forces are not dissipative because all friction is absent. Therefore the x component of
the total linear momentum is conserved as well as the total mechanical energy. Along the vertical branch of
the pipe m has 2 components of the velocity, one v x along x, equal to the velocity V of M, and the other one
v y along y. The conservation equations are:

m
mv0 mvx MV V vx v0
(m M )
vx V
M
1 2 1 2 1 2 1 v y2 v02 gh
mv0 mvx mv y MV 2 mgh ( M m)
2 2 2 2

Exercise 4.8.11 (Physics Exam-I June 8th 2010)


A trolley of mass M1 and mass-less wheels has a spring of rest length l0 and elastic constant k connected at
one end to a wall of the trolley. The other side of the spring is connected to a cube of mass M2. At the
beginning both masses M1 and M2, are at rest, and M2 is located on the frictionless horizontal plane of the
trolley at a distance l0 from the wall (see fig.1). At the time t=0 a projectile of mass m hits the trolley with
velocity v0 and penetrates inside. The shock is so fast that the projectile, when stops inside the trolley, is still
nearly in the same position. Find:
1. Velocity of the trolley just after the bullet stops inside.
2. Kinetic energy of the wheels during the motion of the trolley.
3. The maximum elongation of the spring after the trolley moves forward.
(Hint : process occurs in two steps. In the first step some forces are fast and much stronger than the other
ones.)

Data : mo= 0.05 [kg] ; M1=4[kg] ; M2= 1[kg] ; K= 160 [N/m] ; lo= 10[cm]; vo= 200m/s
Solution:
In the first step, the bullet hits the trolley and penetrates inside in a very short time, so short that the
trolley doesnt change position (actually changes of very small shift). Therefore, the interaction between
bullet and trolley is intense. In the same short time interval, the trolley doesnt interact with the mass M2
because the interaction is through the spring and if trolley is in the original position the spring is at rest and
the elastic force is zero (actually, the position is shifted a little bit and the elastic force is very small,
negligible). Therefore in the first step two external horizontal forces act on the system m, M, and the total
linear momentum along x( horizontal axis) is conserved. In the initial state the momentum of the system is
mv0, in the final is (m+M)V0, where V0 is the velocity of both bullet and trolley ( bullet stopped inside with
respect to the trolley).
m v 0 (m M )V0
m
V0 v 0 1,25m / s
mM

In the second step, the system made by the whole trolley + bullet and the cube M2 is again free from external
forces along x ( wheels are mass less, therefore no horizontal interacts with the floor) In addition all internal
forces are conservative (elastic) or do not do any work ( normal forces) linear momentum (along x) and
mechanical energy are conserved . In the initial state the only moving part of the system is (m+M) and the
potential and the potential energy is zero, when the elongation of the spring is max the velocity of the M2
with respect the trolley is zero, i.e. they have the same velocity V:
(m M 1 )V0 (m M 1 M 2 )V
m M1
V V0 0,01m / s
m M1 M 2
1 1 1
(m M 1 )V0 (m M 1 M 2 )V 2 kd 2
2

2 2 2
(m M 1 )V0 (m M 1 M 2 )V0
2 2
d 0,17 m
k

$=4.9: Rigid Body


Among the systems of points a particular class is that of the rigid bodies, which have some very peculiar
features. The concept of rigid body is somewhat intuitive as a compact thing, behaving like a point .
We shall define precisely the rigid body and will deduce rigorously the properties from the definition.
Definition

A rigid body is a system of physical points, with masses mi and m j , whose distances d i , j are constant:


d i , j Ri R j = constant [ i, j ] (4.9.1)


where the distance has been written as a function of the vector displacements Ri , R j . In the following we

will use the cylindrical coordinates in order to represent the vector displacement R : R r z k .
Lets list some basic properties of the motion of the rigid bodies.

Property n. 1: if 2 points Ri , R j of a rigid body are at rest during the motion, all the points of the rigid body
belonging to the straight line, which joins i and j, are at rest.

Proof: let l be a point of the rigid body belonging to the straight line joining i and j. First of all, the point l
cannot move away from the straight line joining i and j. In fact if it moves, it forms a triangle (ilj), in which
only one edge (il), or (lj), can maintain the same length as before moving: the other one becomes longer,

because the property of tringles. If we assume the z axis along this straight line ( i.e. Ri z i k , R j z j k ),
from eq. (4.9.1) applied to the points i and l we get:

d i ,l ( z i z l ) 2
2
(4.9.2)

and making the derivative on both members:

0 2 ( zi zl ) zl zl 0 (zi being constant) (4.9.3)

The straight line through i and j is called fixed axis of the rigid body. A part special cases, in the following
we will choose this axis as z axis of the reference (cylindrical) frame

Property n. 2 : if a rigid body has a fixed axis z, during the motion of the rigid body all points have constant
distance from the z axis.

Proof:
Let l be a point not belonging to the z axis through i and j. Points i,l and j
define a triangle with fixed length of the edges: therefore this triangle
remains equal to itself in all positions during the motion. Also the height
lm with respect the edge i,j maintains the same length: this height is the
coordinate rl of l and therefore:

rl 0 (4.9.4) Fig. 4.9.a

Property n. 3:
If a rigid body has a fixed axis z, all points have constant z coordinate.
Proof: let l be a point not belonging to the z-axis passing through j and i. The square distance

d l ,i ( Rl Ri ) 2 (rl ( zl zi ) k ) 2 is constant and the derivative is null:
2


d ( Rl Ri ) 2 d (rl 2 ( z l z i ) 2 )
0 2r r 2( z l z i )( zl zi ) 2( z l z i ) zl zl 0 (4.9.5)
dt dt
In (4.9.5) use has been done of the properties (4.9.4) and (4.9.3) applied to i.

Property n. 4: the points of a rigid body, which moves with a fixed axis, describe arcs of circumferences
lying in planes perpendicular to z.

In fact, from property 3, a point moves in the plane z = constant, which is perpendicular to z. Moreover, from
property 2, also, the distance from the rotation axis is constant; therefore, the point describes an arc of
circumference.

Property n. 5: the angular velocities of all the points of a rigid body, moving with a fixed axis, are equal.
This property comes straight from the Euclidean properties of the angles and since the distances among the

points must remain constant. The velocity of the i-th point can be written as: vl rl ( l )

For sake of completeness, a rigorous proof (not required at the exam) of the common angular velocity
(Property n. 5) is given in the following.
Proof :
2
Lets consider 2 points l and m, with their square distance d l ,n in cylindrical coordinates:


d l ,n ( rl ( l ) rn ( n ))2 ( zl z n )2
2
(4.9.6)
whose derivative reads as:

0 2 ( rl ( l ) rn ( n )) ( rl l ( l ) rn n ( n )) 2( z l z n ) ( zl z n )

2 ( rl ( l ) rn ( n )) ( rl l ( l ) rn n ( n )) (4.9.7)

2 ( r r ( ) ( ) r r ( ) ( ))
l n n l n n l l n l

As shown in Fig. 4.9.b, where


n l , we have :

angle between ( l ) and ( n ) 2

angle between ( n ) and ( l ) 2
whose cosines are equal and opposite. Therefore:

( l ) ( n ) ( n ) ( l )) cos( ) (4.9.8)

Eqs. (4.9.8) and (4.9.7) give:


0 2 rl rn ( n l ) cos n l (4.9.9)

Concluding, the vector displacement and the velocity of each point l of a rigid body are written as:

Rl rl (l ) z l k ; vl rl ( l ) (4.9.10)

Conclusions about the properties of a rigid body

a) In a rigid body all the distances between points are constant.


b) During the motion, if 2 points of the body are at rest, all points belonging to the joining straight line,
called rotation axis, are at rest and
c) all points of the rigid body describe planar circumferences, with the same angular velocity .

Therefore the motion of each point of a rigid body is completely known if the angle or the angular velocity
or the angular acceleration is known.

$=4.10: Moment of inertia


It is useful to define a new quantity, the moment of inertia Iz with respect to an axis z of a system of N
points having masses mi as:

N
I z mi ri 2 (4.10.1)
i 1
where ri is is the distance between the point i and the z axis.
The moment of inertia Iz of a rigid body with respect to an axis is a static property of the body and the axis,
independent on the motion.

Additive property of the moments of inertia


From the definition (2.2.1) it is straightforward that if the N points are considered as belonging to 2
subsystems, the first from 1 to M and the second from M+1 to N, the corresponding moments of inertia IzM
and IzN with respect to the same axis z satisfy:
I z I zM I zN (4.10.2)

Theorem of Huygens-Steiner:

For a body there are infinite moments of inertia, depending on the choice of the axes. Nevertheless there is
an important relationship between all the moments relative to parallel axes, which is called theorem of
Huygens-Steiner, which reads:

The moment of inertia Iz of a rigid body with respect to a z axis is equal to the moment of inertia Iz with
respect to the parallel axis passing through the CM, plus the total mass M of the body multiplied by the
squared distance d between the 2 axes:

I z M d 2 I z' (4.10.3)

Proof:

Lets call z the axis passing through the CM of the body and z the other one. Lets choose 2 cartesian
reference frames with origins O and O, axes (x,y,z) and (x,y,z) respectively, with O at the same z of O ,
as in Fig.4.10.a:

Fig.4.10.a

Defining d l the distance of each point-like mass m l from the axis z, the moment of inertia Iz with respect to
the axis z can be written as:
N N
I z m l d m l ( x l y l ) 2
l
2
(4.10.3)
l 1 l 1
If we take into account the relationship between the vector displacements in 2 frames, we have:

r r ' rO ' xl xl xO ' and y l y l y O ' (4.10.4)

And Eq. (4.10.3) becomes:

N N
I z ml ( x l y l ) 2 ml ( x l x O ' y l y O ' ) 2
l 1 l 1
N
ml ( x l x O2 ' y l y O2 ' 2 x O ' x l 2 y O ' y l )
2 2
(4.10.5)
l 1
N N N N
ml ( x l y l ) ml ( x O2 ' y O2 ' ) ml (2 x O ' x l ) ml (2 y O ' y l )
2 2

l 1 l 1 l 1 l 1

Lets now evaluate each one of the 4 terms in the last member of Eq. (4.10.5):

m
l 1
l ( x l y l ) I z
2 2

N N

ml ( xO2 ' y O2 ' ) ( ml ) d l2 M d 2


l 1 l 1
N N
(4.10.6)
m
l 1
l (2 x O ' x l ) 2 x O ' m l x l 2 x O ' M x CM
l 1
0
N N
m l (2 y O ' y l ) 2 y O ' m l y l 2 y O ' M y CM
0
l 1 l 1
Explanation of the Eqs. (4.10.6):
1) the first equation comes from the definition of moment of inertia in the frame O
2) In the second one d indicates the distance between z and z , which is given by the distance of the
origins OO
3) In the 3-rd and 4-th equations, after the coordinates of O have been moved out of the sum because
they do not depend on the index l, the remaining sum is equal to the definition of the coordinates x
and y of the CM (times the total mass) in the frame O. In this frame the coordinates x and y of the
CM are the same of the origin O, i.e. they are null.
Therefore we get:
I z M d 2 I z' (4.10.7)

Eq. (4.10.7) proves the Huygens-Steiner theorem: the moment of inertia of a rigid body with respect to an
axis z is equal to the moment of inertia with respect to a parallel axis z, passing through the centre of mass,
plus the product of the mass times the distance between the 2 axes.
Moment of Inertia of some homogeneous rigid bodies

1) Moment of inertia Iz of a homogeneous parallepiped of mass M and edges a,b,c, with respect to an
axis parallel to the edge c and passing through the centre (CM)

Since the rigid body is continuous, it is written as an integral:

I z dm ( x 2 y 2 ) dxdydz ( x 2 y 2 )
V V
Where x-axis is parallel to the edge a and y-axis to the edge b.
To calculate the above integral, we must keep in mind that it is
the sum of infinitesimal masses dm multiplied by their squared
distance from the z-axis. Thanks to the commutative property,
we can choose the order to add each term: as a first step we
choose to add each mass lying in a strip along x-axis at a
generic (constant) value y, then to add all strips lying in a plane
at a generic (constant) value z, finally to add all planes along z.

c b a c b a
2 2 2 2 2 2
I z dV ( x 2 y 2 ) dz dy dxdydz ( x
2
y 2 ) dz dy dx ( x 2 y 2 )
V c b a c b a

2 2 2 2 2 2
c b c
2 2
a 3 2
a 3b b 3 a a 3b b 3 a abc 2 M 2
dz dy[ y 2 a] dz[ ] [ ] c (a b 2 ) (a b 2 )
c b 3 4 c 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 12 12

2 2 2

2) Moment of inertia Iz of a homogeneous sphere of mass M and radius R with respect to an axis
passing through the centre (CM)
2
I z MR 2
5
3) Moment of inertia Iz of a full, homogeneous cylinder of mass M and radius R with respect to its axis
(containing the CM)
1
I z MR 2
2
4) Moment of inertia Iz of a hollow, homogeneous cylinder of mass M and internal and external radii r
and R respectively, with respect to its axis (containing the CM)
1
I z M (r 2 R 2 )
2
5) Moment of inertia Iz of a homogeneous, very thin, ring of mass M and radius R with respect to its
axis (containing the CM)
I z MR 2

Proof:
The mass of each infinitesimal arc dl of the ring is
M
equal to the linear density multiplied by the
2R
length dl and the distance from the z axis is always R.
Therefore, using cylindrical coordinates for the integral
(the system is continuous), we can write:

2 2
Iz R dl R 2 R d R 3 2 MR 2
2

0 0

$=4.11: Motion of a rigid body around a fixed axis


The motion of a rigid body obeys to the cardinal equations of the systems of points. As remarked in the
previous paragraph, the angular velocity is the only variable necessary to describe the motion. In the
following we shall find the relationships between angular velocity, angular momentum and torque for the
rigid body with fixed axis and the simple way the cardinal equations can be used to get the equation of the
motion.

Angular momentum

Lets write the angular momentum for a rigid body rotating around a fixed axis z and having the pole O in

the position RO rO O z O k :
N N
L0 ( Ri RO ) mi vi (ri (i ) rO O ( z i z O )k ) mi ri (i )
i 1 i 1


N
mi ri 2 k rO O ri (i ) ( z i z 0 )ri (i ) (4.11.1)
i 1


N
N
I z k rO O mi ri (i ) mi ( z i z 0 )ri (i )
i 1 i 1

Remarks:

1) since in (4.11.1) all vectors (i ), (i ) are perpendicular to k , the z component of the angular
momentum is simply I z .
2) Even though the rigid body is rotating around a fixed axis, the angular momentum have also
transverse components in the plane perpendicular to the rotation axis
Special case: pole on the z axis

In eq. (4.11.1) the vector product O (i ) lies on the z axis: if the pole has been chosen on the z axis, the
distance rO becomes null and the angular momentum reads simply:


N
L0 I z k mi ( z i z 0 )ri (i ) (4.11.2)
i 1
Summarizing, from eq. (4.11.1) we see that the angular momentum, with respect a pole chosen on the z axis,
has 2 components, Lz along z axis and LT in the plane perpendicular to z:

L0 Lz k LT
Lz I z (4.11.3)


N
LT mi ( z i z 0 )ri (i )
i 1
The component along z has a very simple form in terms of moment of inertia and angular velocity.

Remark
As said above, the transverse component LT of the angular momentum in general doesnt vanish even though
the rotation is only around the z axis; it vanishes when a mass and geometrical symmetry exists around z.
Typically, it occurs in case of homogeneous solids, whose shape is generated by a planar geometrical figure
rotating around the z axis.

Components of the external torques in rotations around a fixed axis

If a rigid body is rotating around a fixed axis it is very convenient to chose the pole O in origin
In this way:
a) the pole is at rest and the angular momentum has the form of the eq. (4.11.3)

b) the vector displacement RO of the pole is null

Lets consider all the external torques (with respect O) acting on the body and focus our attention on the z
component EO,z of this total torque: the II cardinal equation along z reads (see eq. 4.11.3):

dLz
EO, z I z (4.11.4)
dt

The vector displacement Ri of the point i and the external force FEi , acting on it, are written in cylindrical
coordinates as:

Ri ri (i ) z i k ; FEi FEi , FEi , FEi , z k (4.11.5)

Keeping in mind that the pole is in the origin, the total external torque is:
N
EO ( Ri RO ) ( FEi , FEi , FEi , z k )
i 1
N
Ri ( FEi , FEi , FEi , z k )
i 1
(4.11.6)
N
(ri (i ) z i k ) ( FEi , FEi , FEi , z k )
i 1
N
(ri FEi , k ri FEi , z z i FEi , z i FEi , )
i 1

From (4.11.6) we see that, in case of rotation around a fixed axis, with pole and origin coincident, we have:

a) only the -components FEi , of the external forces contribute to the z component of the torque (i.e. only
those forces perpendicular to the z-axis )
b) the forces parallel to z do not contribute to the z component of the external torque.

Kinetic Energy in rotation around a fixed axis



Recalling the definition of velocity vl rl ( l ) of a point l in the rotation around a fixed axis (Property
5), we can also write the total kinetic energy E KT for a rigid body having a fixed axis z:
N
1 1 N 1 N 1 N
1
E KT mi vi2 mi (ri (i )) 2 mi ri 2 2 2 mi ri 2 I z 2 (4.11.7)
i 1 2 2 i 1 2 i 1 2 i 1 2

Particular case 1: Rigid Body with horizontal fixed axis

If the fixed axis z of a rigid body is horizontal, among the other forces perpendicular
to z, there is also the gravity, which is applied to every point of mass mi of the rigid
body. Lets choose the x axis as horizontal axis and the y axis vertical, positive
toward up.
Moreover, let us choose the origin of the axes as pole for the gravity torque: in this

way, we have xO yO zO 0 . The gravity force on each point is mi gj and the z
component zg of the torque:
N N
zg ( g ) z (( Ri RO ) (mi g j )) z ( Ri mi g j ) z
i 1 i 1
N N
(( x i i y i j z i k ) mi g j ) z (( x i i z i k ) mi g j ) z (4.11.8)
i 1 i 1
N N N
x i i mi g j ( x i mi g k ) ( x i mi ) g k M g x CM k
i 1 i 1 i 1
In addition, the Gravitational Potential Energy of a Rigid Body with horizontal fixed axis has a similar
property.
The potential energy of the gravity force on each point is mi g yi and the total potential energy is:
N N
U (mi g yi ) g (mi yi ) Mg yCM
i 1 i 1

Conclusions: in case of a rigid body rotating around a horizontal fixed axis, the contribution of the gravity
to the torque around the fixed axis and the potential energy can be calculated as for a single physical point
lying in the CM and having the total mass of the rigid body.

Compound pendulum

A compound pendulum is a rigid body of mass M, having a horizontal fixed axis (z axis) and the CM at a
distance l 0 from this axis. In general the viscosity of the air and the
dynamic friction around the axis are negligible and the only external
forces are the gravity and the normal applied by the horizontal fixed
axis on the body. Choosing the x axis horizontal and the y axis vertical
directed toward up, as for the case of Eq. (4.11.8), the pole O inside the
fixed axis z and defining as the angle made by O-CM with respect to
the vertical passing through O, as in the standard pendulum, we have:
xCM l sin and yCM l cos .

This system is a rigid body rotating around a horizontal fixed axis


under the gravitational force and we can use the results of the previous
paragraphs.
Calling Iz the moment of inertia of the body with respect z, we can
write eq. (4.11.4) taking into account of eq. (4.10.8)

I z zO, E M g xCM M g l sin (4.11.9)


Which can be rewritten as:

I z M g l sin 0 sin

I z M g l 0 (4.11.10)
Eq.(4.11.10) reduces to the equation (3) of the pendulum (see Exercise 3.3.22 of Chapter 3) for small
oscillations. The solution is obtained after suitable change of the parameters:
Mgl Iz I M l2
( t ) A sin( t ) , with: 2 T 2 2 CM (4.11.11)
Iz Mgl Mgl
Remarks:
a) the period of a compound pendulum depends on the moment of inertia
b) if the fixed axis passes through a point different from O but at the same distance from the CM, the
period is the same
I
c) also the points O at distance l' CM have the same period.
M l

$=4.12: Statics of the Rigid Body

When all the points of a rigid body are at rest during the time, the body is said to be in a Static Condition,
or also in Stable Equilibrium.
The static condition is reached under the effects of external forces, which in general are not each one null.
Nevertheless these external forces must obey to 2 conditions, which come from the properties of the rigid
body and from the 2 Cardinal Equations.

Condition n. 1: if a rigid body is at rest the total external force is null.


Proof: if all points of the rigid body are at rest, their velocities are always null, therefore:

N


m v i i
v CM i
N
0 (4.12.1)
m i
i

Therefore the total linear momentum (which is equal to linear momentum of the CM) is a constant (= 0).
From the first Cardinal Equation:

F E PT PCM 0 F E 0 (4.12.2)

Condition n. 2: If a rigid body is at rest, the total external torque with respect to a pole is null.
Proof: if all points of the rigid body are at rest, their velocities are null, therefore the angular momentum
with respect to a pole O is a constant (= 0). From the II Cardinal Equation, taking into account that the total
linear momentum is null, as said in the previous proof, we have:

E dLTO dLTO
O rO PT 0 OE 0 (4.12.3)
dt dt

Conditions (4.12.2) and (4.12.3) are necessary for the statics of the rigid body. We proof now that they are
also sufficient if at some time t0 all the points are at rest.
Proof:

If at the time t0 all points are at rest, F E 0 and oE 0 , the CM is not accelerated and therefore will remain

with null velocity, i.e. at rest. If we choose a pole O (at rest), the angular momentum LTO with respect to that

pole is null at t0 and remains null because the total external torque OE 0 .
One could object: but in this case, we need to evaluate the angular momentum and torque with respect a
large (infinite) number of poles, in order to discard all the eventual symmetries. Actually, this is not
necessary because:
N
N

LTO (ri rO ) mi v i (ri rO ' rO ' rO ) mi v i
i i
N
N
N

(ri rO ' ) mi v i (rO ' rO ) mi v i LTO ' (rO ' rO ) mi v i (4.12.6)
i i i

LTO ' (rO ' rO ) M PCM

Since PCM 0 , Eq. (4.12.6) says that all poles have the same angular momentum with respect to all poles.
Therefore, if the angular momentum is zero with respect to 1 pole, it is zero with respect to all poles and all
the symmetries of case b) are discarded: the only possibility is that all velocities are null.

Exercises
Exercise 4.12.1
On a horizontal desk a homogeneous parallelepiped slab of edges a, b, c and mass M is leaning out by a
2
length OB a . The contact points between the desk
3
and the parallelepiped are only 2: O an A. Between O
and A the parallelepiped does not touch the desk. A
point-like mass m lies on the end of a leaning on the
desk. Find: a) the minimum value m0 of the point-like
mass necessary to maintain M in equilibrium; b) the

torque OD of the normal force applied by the desk on the
mass when m 3 m0

DATA: M=2[kg]; a=30[cm]; b=5 [cm]; c =2 [cm]

Solution
Remarks:
The slab is homogeneous: its CM is in the centre
NA is the force applied by the desk to the parallelepiped in A
NO is the force applied by the desk to the parallelepiped in O
N is the force applied by the parallelepiped to O
To be in equilibrium the total external force is 0 and the total external torque is 0
Lets consider the rotation around the horizontal fixed axis passing through O and perpendicular to AB

The torque OG of the gravity on the slab with respect O is: OG Mg xCM k

The torque OD of the desk on the slab with respect O is only: OD N A AO k , because NO does not
produce any torque with respect O

The torque of N on the slab with respect O is: N AO k
Choices:
Positive rotation: clockwise
Positive x axis: from A to B along the desk, origin in O
Positive y axis: vertical upward

At the equilibrium, the cardinal equations of m and of the CM and torques on M are:

0 N mg
0 N A N O Mg N (1)
0 N A AO Mg xCM N AO

N mg
N O Mg N N A (2)
xCM x
N A Mg N mg Mg CM
AO AO
a) Since N A 0 from the last of (2) we have:
x x x
N A mg Mg CM mg Mg CM m0 g Mg CM
AO AO AO
b) If the point like mass is m 3m0 : O N A AO mg AO Mg xCM 2 Mg xCM
D

to be completed with the numerical calculations.

Exercise 4.12.2

A homogeneous stair of mass M and length l is leaned to a completely smooth wall and the lower end
lays on a rough floor, with static and dynamic coefficients s , d ,
respectively. The inclination angle with respect to the floor is , as in figure
and the system is in equilibrium. Find the minimum value of the inclination
angle for not sliding stair.

DATA:
s 0.5, d 0.4; M 20[kg]; l 4[m]

Solution:
Lets choose the ref. frame with the x-axis and y-axis as in figure and the
clockwise direction as positive rotation. The equilibrium requires that the total external force is null, as well
as the total external torque with respect to a pole. Let choose this pole in the CM of the stair (its centre).
The external forces are:

the normal N to the wall, the normal R to the floor, the static friction Fs and the gravity. Remembering that
the torque of gravity is null, the equilibrium equations are:
1
Fs Mg ctg
0 N Fs 2
0 Mg R R Mg
l l l 1
0 N sin R cos Fs sin N Mg ctg
2 2 2 2

Applying the limit of the static friction:

Fs s Mg min arctg (2 s )

Exercise 4.12.3

An ideal cord is connected to a wall on the top of an inclined plane at one end and is wound around a thin
homogeneous cylinder of mass M and radius R. The
inclination angle is a and the static and dynamic
friction coefficients between cylinder and plane are
ms, md , and the viscosity of the air is negligible. The
cylinder is at rest at the time t=0. Find the minimum
value of m s , which maintains the cylinder at rest.
DATA: M=0.1Kg, R=0.07m, a = 45 , md = 0.2

Solution:
Lets choose the ref. frame with the x-axis along the
inclined plane, positive downward and the clockwise direction as positive rotation. The cylinder is a rigid
body rotating around an axis with constant direction and the CM lies on this axis. Calling Fs and T the
static friction component and the modulus of the tension respectively, the I and II cardinal equations are:

M x T Mg sin Fs
I R T R Fs
Maintaining the cylinder at rest means that the CM is at rest and any point doesnt rotate, i.e. x 0 ,
which gives:
1
0 T Mg sin Fs Mg sin 2 Fs Fs Mg sin
2

0 R T R Fs T Fs 1
T Fs Mg sin
2
The static friction has a maximum s Mg cos , which gives:
1 1 1
Fs Mg sin s Mg cos tg s tg s min
2 2 2
$=4.13: Motion of a rigid body around a translating axis
In general, a rigid body rotates around an axis, which is moving, and the description of this motion becomes
very difficult. Nevertheless, the equations that rule the motion are very simple in one case. They are similar
to the case of the rotation around a fixed axis.
This case is when a rigid body rotates around an axis, which is moving in the space maintaining the
same direction, i.e. remaining parallel to it self.

Fig. 4.13.1
Before starting to describe this motion, we must remark that the rotation axis cannot be chosen as an inertial
reference system, because the origin on this axis is in general accelerated. Therefore, if we want to apply the
Cardinal Equations we must write the angular momenta in a different inertial reference frame.
Lets choose:
a) an inertial frame having the z-axis parallel to the rotation axis of the rigid body and origin C;
b) a moving reference frame with z axis parallel to z and origin C; x and y axes are taken parallel to
x,y respectively and not rotating
c) a pole O coincident with C.
We remark that in the moving frame the motion of the body looks exactly like in the case of the rigid body
rotating around a fixed axis: the only difference is that the II cardinal equation must be written in the inertial
frame.
Recalling the definitions:

rC ' = vector displacement of C as measured in the frame C (shown in Fig.4.13.1) (4.13.1.a)

rO = vector displacement of the pole O as measured in the frame C (shown in Fig.4.13.1) (4.13.1.b)

rO' = vector displacement of the pole O as measured in the frame C (not shown in Fig.4.13.1) (4.13.1.c)

rCM = vector displacement of the CM as measured in the frame C (shown in Fig.4.13.1) (4.13.1d)
'
rCM = vector displacement of the CM as measured in the frame C (not shown in Fig.4.13.1) (4.13.1e)

ri = vector displacement of the point i as measured in the frame C (not shown in Fig.4.13.1) (4.13.1.f)

ri ' = vector displacement of the point i as measured in the frame C (not shown in Fig.4.13.1) (4.13.1.g)

Moreover, from the relationships between reference frames in relative motion:



ri ri ' rC '
'
rCM rCM rC '

rO rO' rC ' (4.13.2)
'
vCM vCM vC '

vO vO' vC '

Now we can write relationship between the angular momentum, with respect to a pole O, in an inertial frame
(C,x,y,z) and in a moving (not rotating) frame (C,x,y,z), with parallel axes:
N
N
LO (ri rO ) mi vi ((ri ' rC ' ) (rO' rC ' )) mi (vC ' vi' )
i 1 i 1
N
N
N

((ri ' rO' ) mi (vC ' vi' ) ((ri ' rO' ) mi vi' ((ri ' rO' ) mi vC '
i 1 i 1 i 1
N
N
N

LO (ri ' rO' ) mi vC ' L 'O ri ' mi vC ' rO' mi vC ' (4.13.3)
i 1 i 1 i 1
N
N
'
LO ( mi ri ' ) vC ' ( mi ) rO' vC ' L 'O M rCM vC ' M rO' vC '
i 1 i 1
'
LO M (rCM rO' ) vC '

The derivative is:



LO LO M (vCM
vO ) vC ' M (rCM
rO ) aC ' (4.13.4)

Recalling that the dynamical basic theorems for systems of points (i.e. the 2 cardinal equations, the theorem
of the work and the various conservations) are valid in the inertial frame we can write the II Cardinal
Equation for rotation around translating axis in the inertial reference frame as:


O( E ) LO vO M vCM
(4.13.5)

LO M (vCM
vO ) vC ' M (rCM
rO ) aC ' vO M vCM

Eq. (4.13.5) contains 4 terms and is quite complicate to be managed, but in 2 cases it simplifies a lot. These
cases are:
1) the pole O is chosen in the CM (and of course the pole O is in C)
2) the origin C is at rest (and of course the pole O is in C)

Remark: the condition 2) seems a little bit contradictory, because we are discussing now the case in which
the z axis is moving: nevertheless we shall see that in some special cases like the rotation of wheels on a
floor, this contradiction disappears.
' '
In the case 1): rO' rCM , vO' vCM and vO v CM , therefore: O( E ) LO (4.13.6)
' '
In the case 2): rO rC ' 0 vO vC ' 0 aC ' 0 , therefore: O( E ) LO (4.13.7)

Let us remark that L' O is the angular momentum in a reference frame where the rotation axis is fixed:
therefore, in this frame we can write the z component as:

L' OZ I z ' 'k , (4.13.8)

as for the case of the previous paragraph: ' is the angular velocity around z, measured in the moving
reference system.
Still we have to recall that the motion of the CM is determined by the I Cardinal Equation.
In conclusion, in each of the above 2 cases, the rotation of a rigid body around an axis with fixed direction is
determined by only 4 out of the 6 scalar Cardinal Equations:

M a CM FT( E )
(4.13.9)
I z ' k OZ

Kinetic Energy

Also the total kinetic energy EKT of a rigid body rotating around an axis z having a fixed direction must be
calculated in an inertial frame, in order to apply the Cardinal Equations. As for the angular momentum, the
velocities of the i-th point of the system in general is difficult to be calculated, while with respect to the
moving frame (C, x, y, z) they are easier. Lets find the relationship between the kinetic energy calculated
in (C, x, y, z) and in (C, x, y ,z):
N
1 1 N 1 N
E KT mi v i2 mi (v C ' v i' ) 2 mi (v C2 ' 2 v C ' v i' v i' )
2

i 1 2 2 i 1 2 i 1
1 N N
1 N
( mi )v C2 ' mi (v C ' v i' ) mi v i'
2
(4.13.10)
2 i 1 i 1 2 i 1
1 ' 1
Mv C2 ' M (v C ' v CM ) I z 2
2 2

In the above case 1), if we choose also the origin C of the moving frame in the CM, we have:
1 1 '
E KT MvCM2
I z 2 because v CM 0 (4.13.11)
2 2

1
In the above case 2), v C ' 0 and therefore: E KT I z 2 . (4.13.12)
2
Warning: the 2 values of the moment of inertia in (4.13.11) and in (4.13.12) are not the same. In fact, in
(4.13.11) Iz represents the moment of inertia with respect a rotation axis passing through CM=O=C, while
in (4.13.12) the rotation axis passes through O=C CM. If we call ICM the moment of inertia in (4.13.11)
and Iz the moment of inertia in (4.13.12), between both momenta the following relation holds:
I z I CM Md 2 , where d is the distance between the 2 axes.

Velocities of the contact point and the centre in rotation of wheels

When a wheel of radius R (or any other solid of rotation) is rotating on a plane surface, there is a relation
between the velocity of the centre of the wheel and the contact
point. To find this relation we consider a reference frame (O,x,y)
at rest and a reference frame (C,x,y) with origin C in the
centre of the wheel and x parallel to x, y parallel to y. Lets call
C the contact point of the wheel with the surface at a certain

time, vC ' , vC , vC ' 0, vC the velocities in both frames. In (C, x,
y) the moduli of the velocities of all points on the

circumference are given by v R , where is the angular
velocity of the rotation. Therefore the velocity of the contact
point in both frames is given by:

vC vC ' vC vC ' i R i vC ' i R i (vC ' R ) i (4.13.13)

From eq. (4.13.13) we see that when the modulus of the velocity of the centre is equal to R , the contact
point is at rest in the frame (O,x,y) : this rotation is called without sliding and the contact point has static
friction with the surface. If vC ' R , the contact point has a velocity with respect to the surface and the
friction is dynamic.

Lets now go back to the puzzle of the condition 2), i.e. how can the z-axis move if C is at rest?. In the
case of a wheel (or sphere or cylinder...), which rotates without sliding, the contact point C, which belongs
to the wheel, is at rest in the frame (O,x,y), as shown above. Nevertheless, the z-axis which passes through C
changes after an infinitesimal time, because C detaches from the floor and is substituted by another contact
point. The z-axis moves parallel to CM, even though the contact point of the wheel is at rest!

$=4.14: Exercises about the motion of the rigid body


Exercise 4.14.1
A homogeneous parallelepiped slab of edges a, b, c and mass M is screwed into a vertical wall through the
point O, at a distance d from the top. The slab can rotate around the
horizontal screw without friction. A point-like bullet of mass m has a

velocity v 0 , collides with the slab and penetrates until the middle of the edge
b as in figure. Find:
a) The work made by the friction/inelastic forces during the penetration
of the bullet
b) The maximum angle (from the vertical initial position) reached
by the slab
DATA: a=30[cm]; b=5 [cm]; c =2 [cm]; d=3 [cm]; M =1 [kg]; m=0.1 [kg]; v0 120[m / s];
Solution.
Remarks:
The moment of inertia of the slab with respect O can be calculated using the Huygens Steiner
M 2 a
theorem: I z (a b 2 ) m ( d ) 2 ; the moment of inertia of the total system slab+bullet can
12 2
be calculated using the additive property: I zT I z m a 2
in the collision there are friction and inelastic forces, therefore the mechanical energy of the system
M+m does not conserve
since the normal by the axel onto the cylinder is present and not negligible (in principle), also the
linear momentum is not conserved
The only external force is the normal which does not produce any torque with respect the pole O:
therefore the total angular momentum is conserved
In order to avoid mistakes in the signs of the angular momenta, it is convenient to use a reference

system. Lets choose a reference system as in figure, calling r the vector displacement of m in the
collision point: pole and origin coincide and the positive rotation is trigonometric (counter-
clockwise). We write:
b
r i (a d ) j
2

a) v0 v0 i

Li0 r m v0 (a d ) mv0 k

L0f I zT k
(a d ) mv0
Initial and final momenta are equal, therefore: (a d ) mv0 I zT
I zT
a
b) Just after the collision, the potential energy is U i mg a Mg ( d ) (remember the position
2
1
of the CM of the slab) and the kinetic energy is E ki mv02 ; at the angle there is only potential
2
a
energy U f mg a cos Mg cos . Therefore, by equating the initial and final total energy:
2

a 1 a
mg a Mg ( d ) mv02 mg a cos Mg cos
2 2 2
One gets the value of cos : if this value is greater than 1, the slab will continuously rotate around O.

Exercise 4.14.2
A homogeneous cylinder of radius R and mass M can rotate on a horizontal plane around a vertical axis fixed
on the plane. At the beginning, its angular velocity is and no friction is present between the cylinder, the
plane and the axis. Another cylinder of mass m with the same height and radius r is put down slowly on the
first cylinder in a coaxial position: between the 2 cylinders there is friction and the static and dynamic
coefficients are s and d respectively.
When the upper cylinder touches the lower
one, the latter one is at rest. Find the angular
velocity of the upper cylinder and the loss of
energy of the system after a very long time.

DATA: R=30[cm]; r=5 [cm]; M =1 [kg];


m=0.1 [kg]; 0 4[rad / s]

Solution
Lets call Iu and Id the moment of inertia of the
upper and lower cylinders respectively:
1 1
I d MR 2 ; I u mr 2
2 2

The angular momentum of the system of both cylinders is conserved along the axis, therefore:

Id
I d 0 ( I d I u ) 0
(I d I u )
1
Eic I d 02
2 1 1
Eic E cf I d 02 ( )
1 2 1 Iu Id
E cf ( I d I u ) 2
2

********************************************************************
Exercise 4.14.3 (Exam June 25th 2009)
2
A solid sphere of radius R, mass M and moment of inertia I MR , is thrown along a rough horizontal
5
plane. At the time when the sphere touches
the plane the initial velocity of the centre of

mass is v 0 v0 i (x being the horizontal axis

positive in the direction of v 0 ) and the
initial angular velocity of the sphere,
around a horizontal axis perpendicular to x,
is 0 (assuming the clockwise rotation as

positive). Find the velocity vCM of the
centre of mass and the angular velocity
of the sphere after a very long time and
demonstrate that both will remain constant.
DATA: M = 2[kg] ; s = 0.8 ; d = 0.4 ;R=10 [cm]; v0 =1 [m/s]; 0=-5 [rad/s]
Solution

At the beginning, the contact point of the sphere is in motion with respect to the plane: the friction is
dynamic and the I cardinal equation (along the x and y-axis) and the II cardinal equation (along the z axis)
are written as:

0 M y N Mg N Mg N Mg
M x d N Mx d Mg x d gt v0
I d NR I d MgR I I
2
R d gt R 0
MR MR 2
From both equations, we get:
I I
x (t ) 2
R (t ) v0 R0
MR MR 2

The linear velocity decreases from the initial value v0 while the angular velocity (multiplied by R)
increases from the initial value R 0 : after a time interval t0 they will be equal, i.e.:
x (t 0 ) R (t 0 ) .
From the last 2 equations we get:
I I I I
x (t 0 ) (1 2
) v0 2
R0 x (t 0 ) (v0 2
R0 ) /(1 ) 0.44[m / s]
MR MR MR MR 2
v I I
(t 0 ) ( 0 2
0 ) /(1 ) 4.4[rad / s]
R MR MR 2

********************************************************************
Exercise 4.14.4 (Exam July 15th 2009)
On a horizontal, completely smooth plane, a cylinder of radius R and mass M has the axis vertically
fixed on the plane. Initially this cylinder is at rest. Another cylinder of radius r and mass m can
freely rotate around an axel passing
through its vertical axis. The lateral
surfaces of both cylinders are rough
with static and dynamic friction
coefficients s and d; respectively.
Initially the cylinder (r,m) is far from
the cylinder (R,M) and is rotating
around the axel with angular
velocity 0 (assuming the clockwise
rotation as positive).
A hand catches the axel, moves and
presses it against the point A of the cylinder (R, M) : the normal force between both lateral

surfaces in the contact point A is N .

a) Find the angular velocities and of the cylinders (r,m) and (R,M) respectively, after a
very long time.

b) Is N the total force applied by the hand? Proof your answer.

DATA: M = 2[kg] m = 2[kg] ; s = 0.8 ; d = 0.4 ;R=20 [cm]; r=10 [cm]; 0=8 [rad/s]

Solution
Question a)
At the beginning, the contact point of both cylinders is in motion with respect to each other:
the friction is dynamic and the II cardinal equations (along the z-axis) are written as:
1
MR 2 N R R 2 d N 2 N
R d t
d
2 M M
1 2 d N 2 d N
mr d N r
2
r r t r 0
2 m m
m 2 d N
R t
M m (1)
M
r R r 0
m
The angular velocity of (R,M) increases in modulus (but of course is negative) while the
angular velocity of (r,m) , which is positive at the beginning, decreases. After a time t0 they
will be such that:
R (t 0 ) r (t 0 ) (2)

with (t 0 ) still positive. Joining the II equation of (1) with (2) we get:
M M
R(t 0 ) R (t 0 ) r 0 R (t 0 ) (1 ) r 0
m m
r m m
(t 0 ) 0 ( ) 2 [rad/s]; (t 0 ) 0 ( ) 4 [rad/s]
R mM mM
Question b)
No, the force applied by the hand must equilibrate all the other external forces acting on (r,m)

, because the CM of (r,m) is maintained at rest. All the other external forces are N and the

dynamic friction which is perpendicular to N .

*******************************************************************

Exercise 4.14.5 (Exam Feb 10th 2010)


A rectilinear, rail-track shaped guide AB of length L and moment of inertia I0 lays on a horizontal plane. Two
small vertical walls end the
boundaries A and B of the guide and
have some glue on the internal side.
A vertical axis passes through its
centre O. Two identical spheres,
each one of mass m and radius R,
are located on the guide at a
distance d from their centres, in a
symmetric position across the centre O and are tied together by an ideal cord. The friction between the
spheres and the guide is negligible as well as the friction of the guide and the horizontal plane and the
viscosity of the air.
The whole system is given an impulse of torque in such a way that it gets an angular velocity 0 around the
vertical axis passing through O. After some time the cord breaks and the spheres run against the walls A and
B, where they stick up, thanks to the glue.
a) find the angular velocity after the spheres stuck at the walls
b) demonstrate that the force applied by the glue to the spheres is not conservative

DATA: m=1[kg]; R=0.4[m]; I0 =1 [Kgm2]; d=1.2 [m]; L=3.2 [m]; 0 =4[rad/s]

Solution
1) The system guide +spheres is not submitted to any external torque along the vertical axis. Therefore, the
angular momentum along this axis remains constant during all the time. Let us call I1 the moment of inertia
of the system in the initial configuration and I2 in the final. The angular momenta in both configurations are:

I 1 0 I 2 (1)

To evaluate the moments of inertia we use the additivity property and apply the Huygens-Steiner theorem:
2 d2
I1 I 0 2 ( mR2 m ) 1 2 (0.064 0.36) 1.484
5 4 (2)
2 L
I 2 I 0 2 ( mR m ( R) ) 1 2 (0.064 1.44) 4.008
2 2

5 2

from (1) and (2) :

I1
0 8.292 (3)
I2
2) The (gravitational) potential energy doesnt change (all masses remain at the same height ) but the
kinetic energy decreases:

1 1
E2 I 2 2 I 102 E1 E1
2 2 0 0
This means that the force of the glue (the only one present in addition to the gravity) dissipates energy.

*************************************************

Exercise 4.14.6
Along an inclined plane, a homogeneous sphere of mass M and radius R has an elastic wound around as in
figure, with the other end stuck to a wall at the top of the inclined plane. The static and dynamical friction
coefficient between the plane and the sphere are s and d respectively.
At the beginning, all is at rest and the position of the centre of the sphere corresponds to the elastic rest
length. Find:
a) the maximum displacement XMAX in which the
sphere moves rolling without sliding
b) the velocity of the centre of the sphere in XMAX

Data: R = 20cm; = 30; K = 200 N/m; s = 0.5;


d = 0.4;

Solution

Remarks:
Rotation around a fixed direction axis
At the beginning friction is static
No torque is made by gravity because the body is homogeneous
Choices:
Positive rotation direction: counter-clockwise
Positive x axis: from A to B along the inclined plane, origin in the initial position
2
Fel = elastic force; Ff = friction force; we define the ratio I MR 2
5

At the beginning the cardinal equations of the CM and torques are:

Mx Mg sin Fs Fel
with: Fel 2 Kx (1)
I R( Fs Fel )

Remark: the elongation of the spring is twice the displacement of the CM, because not only the contact point
spring-cylinder moves but also the spring is wound around the cylinder.

a) At the beginning: x R ; therefore from (1):

Mx Mg sin Fs Fel Mx Mg sin Fs Fel


Mx Mg sin Fs Fel
I Fs Fel
M R Fs Fel M x Fs Fel Mx
MR 2

g sin
x R
1
(2)

Fs ( Mg sin 2 Kx)
1
and the static friction limit requires:

s Mg cos Fs Mg sin 2 Kx Mg sin 2 Kx (3)
1 1
We get:
Mg Mg
( s cos sin ) x x MAX ( s cos sin ) (4)
2 K 1 2 K 1
1
We must remark that the bracket in eq.4 must be positive, i.e. : s tan (satisfied by these

data), otherwise static friction disappears soon

b) To evaluate the velocity vCM of the CM of the sphere in x x MAX , we use the conservation of the total
mechanical energy, since no dissipative force is present up to that point. The difference of height between
the initial and final position of the sphere is xMAX sin ,therefore:
1 1 1 2 k 2
0 MvCM 2
I 2 kxCM mg sin x MAX vCM2
(1 ) xCM 2 g sin x MAX
2 2 2 M
k 2
xCM 2 g sin x MAX
vCM
2
M
(1 )

********************************************************************

Exercise 4.14.7

An ideal cord is connected to the ceiling at one end and is wound around a thin
homogeneous cylinder of mass M and radius R. The cylinder is at rest at the
time t=0 and is released. Find the time t 0 when the CM of the cylinder is at a
distance d below the initial position.
y
DATA: M=0.1Kg, R=0.07m, d=30cm

Solution:
Lets choose the ref. frame as in figure, with y =0 in the initial position of the
CM. The cylinder is a rigid body rotating around an axis with constant
direction and the CM lies on this axis. The I and II cardinal equations are:
I
( M 2 ) y Mg
M y T Mg M y T Mg R
R
I R T I R2 T
I
T 2
R R
y R
y R y R

The linear acceleration is a constant and the position and velocity y(t ), y (t ) can be easily found.
Exercise 4.14.8

An ideal cord is connected to a wall on the top of an


inclined plane at one end and is wound around a thin
homogeneous cylinder of mass M and radius R. The
inclination angle is a and the static and dynamic friction
coefficients between cylinder and plane are ms, md , and the
viscosity of the air is negligible. The cylinder is at rest at
the time t=0. Find the minimum value of m s , which
maintains the cylinder at rest.
DATA: M=0.1Kg, R=0.07m, a = 45 , md = 0.2

Solution:
Lets choose the ref. frame with the x-axis along the inclined plane, positive downward and the clockwise
direction as positive rotation. The cylinder is a rigid body rotating around an axis with constant direction
and the CM lies on this axis. Calling Fs and T the static friction component and the modulus of the tension
respectively, the I and II cardinal equations are:

M x T Mg sin Fs
I R T R Fs
Maintaining the cylinder at rest means that the CM is at rest and any point doesnt rotate, i.e. x 0 ,
which gives:
1
0 T Mg sin Fs F Mg sin
Mg sin 2 Fs s
2

0 R T R Fs T Fs 1
T Fs Mg sin
2
The static friction has a maximum s Mg cos , which gives:
1 1 1
Fs Mg sin s Mg cos tg s tg s min
2 2 2
********************************************************************

Exercise 4.14.9

It is the same problem as 4.13.7 but the static friction coefficient is given.
An ideal cord is connected to a wall on the top of an
inclined plane at one end and is wound around a thin
homogeneous cylinder of mass M and radius R. The
inclination angle is and the static and dynamic friction
coefficients between cylinder and plane are s , d , and
the viscosity of the air is negligible. The cylinder is at


rest at the time t=0. Find the linear and angular acceleration of the cylinder.

DATA: M=0.1Kg, R=0.07m, a = 45 , md = 0.2 ; ms = 0.4

Solution:
Lets choose the ref. frame with the x-axis along the inclined plane, positive downward and the counter
clockwise direction as positive rotation. The cylinder is a rigid body rotating around an axis with constant
direction and the CM lies on this axis. Since the cylinder is initially at rest, we should test whether the static
situation is permanent or not. We use the result of P2 and we see that the static condition is not satisfied.
Therefore the friction is dynamic and the I and II cardinal equations are:

M x T Mg sin d Mg cos M x T Mg sin d Mg cos

I R T R d Mg cos I2 R T d Mg cos
R
R x
x

R
It must be remarked that the cylinder rotates maintaining the contact point with the string at rest. It is
suitable to assume the x-axis on the string. The solution is:
sin 2 d cos
x g
1 I MR 2
I sin 2 d cos
T d Mg cos g
R2 1 I MR 2
x

R

Exercise 4.14.10

This problem is the same as in the previous exercise 4.12.2 but the initial inclination angle is 44, i.e.
the equilibrium conditions are not satisfied and the stair slides down to the floor. A homogeneous stair
of mass M and length l is leaned to a completely smooth wall and the
lower end lays on a rough floor, with static and dynamic
coefficients s , d , respectively. The initial inclination angle with respect
to the floor is 44 , and does not satisfy the equilibrium conditions.
Find the equations of the motion of the stair during sliding.

DATA:
s 0.5, d 0.4; M 20[kg]; l 4[m]

Solution:
Let us choose the ref. frame with the x-axis and y-axis as in figure and the clockwise direction as positive
rotation. Let choose this pole in the CM of the stair (its centre). The external forces are:

the normal N to the wall, the normal R to the floor, the static friction Fs and the gravity. Remembering that
the torque of gravity is null and calling x and y the CM coordinates, the cardinal equations are:
M x N d R
M y Mg R
l
I CM I CM ( N sin R cos d R sin )
2
l l l
x sin x cos x (sin 2 cos )
2 2 2
l l l
y cos y sin y ( cos 2 sin )
2 2 2

The above system of differential equations is of second order but not linear: one can or a) fix an angle and
find all the accelerations and forces at such an angle, or b) solve approximately the system with numerical
methods.

Exercise 4.14.11: the most general case of explosion

On the board of a homogeneous circular horizontal


platform of radius R and mass M there is a cannon of
negligible sizes and mass. The platform can rotate around
its vertical fixed axel passing through the centre. Inside
the pipe of the cannon, which forms a horizontal angle
with the radius, there is a projectile of mass m. Friction
and viscosity are absent. At the beginning, the whole
system is at rest: at t = 0 an explosion of energy E0 takes
place in a time interval t: when the projectile exits from
the pipe, the platform recoiled by an angle 0 . Find the
angular velocity of the platform when the projectile exits
from the cannon.

DATA: M =10 [t]; R=10 [m]; 30; 0 10 ;E0 = 1000 [J]

Solution:

Since there is not any friction, the only not conservative force is the pressure of the gas expansion, whose
work on the system is E0. Moreover, the gravitational potential energy is constant because everything
remains at the same height and the normal of the axel does not produce any work because it is at rest.
Concerning the total external torque around the z-axis, it is null because the only horizontal force (normal
of the axel) has zero distance from the axis. Therefore, we can write the work theorem as:

1 1
E0 I 2 m (v x2 v y2 ) (1)
2 2
Choosing the reference system as in figure, the pole O in the origin, keeping in mind that initially everything
is at rest and therefore the initial angular momentum is null, we write the angular momentum conservation
as:

0 L0final
z (2)
The final angular momentum along z is the sum of the projectile and the platform+cannon:

L0final
z r (0 ) m v (0 ) I z k (3)
In the above equation, Iz is the moment of inertia of the system platform+cannon. Moreover, since we
know that, after explosion, the platform rotates back by an angle 0 , the angular velocity is negative ,
with 0 .

Let us write now the vector displacement r (0 ) and the velocity v (0 ) of the bullet at the exit:

r (0 ) x(0 )i y(0 ) j R (cos 0 i sin 0 j ); v (0 ) v x i v y j (4)
From eq. (2),(3) and (4), the angular momentum conservation (along z) becomes:

0 I z k mR cos 0 v y k mR sin 0 v x k
(5)
I z mR (v x sin 0 v y cos 0 )

Joining eq. (5) to eq. (1) we have a system of 2 equations with 3 unknowns ( , v x , v y ). In order to solve this
system, we need another equation, which should come from the kinematics, because we already used all the
theorems of the dynamics.
We know that in the reference frame (O=O, x, y, z=z), lying on the platform, in which the x axis has
always the radial direction of the cannon, the velocity of the bullet satisfies the relation:
v y
tg (6)
v x
and the relationships with (x,y,z) is:

i cos 0 i sin 0 j
(7)
j sin 0 i cos 0 j

The relationship between the velocity v in (O,x,y,z) and v ' in (O,x,y,z) is given by (see kinematics,
remembering that the moving system is rotating):

v x i v y j vx i vy j k R i
Using (7), the above equation becomes:

v x i v y j v x i v y j k R i v x i v y j R j

v x (cos 0 i sin 0 j ) v y (sin 0 i cos 0 j ) R (sin 0 i cos 0 j )

which gives the following 2 scalar equations:


v x v x cos 0 v y sin 0 R sin 0
(8)
v y v x sin 0 vy cos 0 R cos 0

Joining eq. (1), (5), (6) and (8) we get:


1 1
E0 I 2 m (v x2 v y2 ) (9)
2 2
I z mR (sin 0 v x cos 0 v y ) (10)
vy tg vx (11)
v x vx cos 0 (vy R ) sin 0 (12)
v y vx sin 0 (vy R ) cos 0 (13)

The above system contains 5 unknowns ( , v x , v y , v y ' , v x ' ) in 5 equations: the algebraic system has solution.
To find the solution it is convenient to change the last 2 equations in these 2 steps: a) multiply both members
of eq. 12 by sin 0 and eq. 13 by cos 0 , b) add eqs. 12 and 13; c) a) multiply both members of eq. 12 by
cos 0 and eq. 13 by sin 0 ; d) subtract eqs. 13 from eq.12. One obtains:
v x sin 0 v y cos 0 vy R v x sin 0 v y cos 0 R vy (14)
v x cos 0 v y sin 0 vx (15)

Using eq.11, we can join eqs. 14 and 15; the system becomes:

1 1
E0 I 2 m (v x2 v y2 ) (16)
2 2
Iz
R v x sin 0 v y cos 0 (17)
mR 2
v x sin 0 v y cos 0 R tg (v x cos 0 v y sin 0 ) (18)

1 1
E0 I 2 m (v x2 v y2 ) (19)
2 2
Iz
R v x sin 0 v y cos 0 (20)
mR 2
I
ctg ( z 2 1) R v x cos 0 v y sin 0 (21)
mR

Multiplying 20 by sin 0 and 21 by cos 0 and adding both, then multiplying 20 by cos 0 and 21 by sin 0
and adding both, eqs. 19,20,21 become:

1 1
E0 I 2 m (v x2 v y2 ) (19)
2 2
I I
[sin 0 z 2 cos 0 ctg ( z 2 1)] R v x (20)
mR mR
Iz I
[cos 0 2
sin 0 ctg ( z 2 1)] R v y (21)
mR mR
Defining:
I I I I
a [sin 0 z 2 cos 0 ctg ( z 2 1)]; b [cos 0 z 2 sin 0 ctg ( z 2 1)]
mR mR mR mR

the above system becomes:


2 E0 I
2 E0 I [ a 2 b 2 ] ( R ) 2
( R ) 2 (v x2 v y2 )
2
2
m mR
m mR
2 E0 I
a ( R ) v x R [ a2 b2 ]
m mR 2
b ( R ) v y
v x a ( R ); v y b ( R )
Remembering that is positive defined, only the sign + is valid in front of the above square root. This
corresponds to positive components of the velocity.

Exercise 4.14.11a: Special case: sudden explosion


t
In the hypothesis of sudden explosion, 0 angle is negligible, because t 0 and 0 (t ) dt 0 . The
0
equation system (19-21) becomes:
2 E0 I
( R ) 2 v x2 v y2 (1)
m mR 2
Iz
R v y (2)
mR 2
I
ctg ( z 2 1) R v x (3)
mR
I
We can define: z 2 R and we write:
mR
2 E0
( R ) 2 ctg 2 ( 1) 2 ( R ) 2 2 ( R ) 2 ( ctg 2 ( 1) 2 2 ) ( R ) 2
m

to be completed.

Exercise 4.14.12
On a smooth horizontal desk, a cylinder of mass M
can rotate around a vertical fixed axel passing
through the centre O. A point-like bullet of mass m

has a velocity v 0 and collides with the cylinder as in
figure. The lateral surface of the cylinder is rough
and, after the collision, the velocity of the bullet is
deflected of an angle and has modulus v1 . Find:
a) the angular velocity of the cylinder after the collision,
b) the work made by the friction during the collision

DATA: R=1 [m]; d=0.8 [m]; M =5 [kg]; m=1 [kg]; v0 120[m / s]; v1 80[m / s]; 40
Solution
Remarks:
in the collision there is friction, therefore the mechanical energy of the system M+m does not
conserve
since the normal by the axel onto the cylinder is present and not negligible (in principle), also the
linear momentum is not conserved (in fact the total linear momentum after collision has a component
along y-axis, which is absent before)
The only external force is the normal which does not produce any torque with respect the pole O:
therefore the total angular momentum is conserved
In order to avoid mistakes in the signs of the angular momenta, it is convenient to use a reference

system. Lets choose a reference system as in figure, calling r the vector displacement of m in the
collision point: pole and origin coincide and the positive rotation is trigonometric (counter-
clockwise). We write
a)
R sin d

r R ( cos i sin j )

v0 v0 i ; v1 v1 (cos i sin j )

Li0 r m v0 R sin mv0 k d mv0 k

L0f I z k r m v1 I z k R ( cos i sin j ) mv1 (cos i sin j )

I z k ( R sin( ) mv1 k )
Initial and final momenta are equal, therefore:
d mv0 I z R sin( ) mv1 I z d mv0 R sin( ) mv1
b) since the only dissipative force is the friction between M and m, the difference of initial and final
kinetic energy gives the work of the friction:
1 2 1
mv0 I z 2 mv12 W friction
2 2

Exercise 4.14.13: a schematic transmission mechanism

Two homogeneous disks of masses m, M and radii r, R respectively can rotate around 2 fixed axes z and Z. A
cord (in tension) is wound around both disks
and a pedal P, connected to the disk (R,M),

produce a torque R along the Z axis.

Find the torque r produced by the cord along
the z axis.
DATA: m=1[kg]; r = 0.4 [m]; M=5 [kg]; r =
0.6 [m];
Solution:
Lets choose the positive rotation clockwise. Each cylinder is a rigid body rotating around a fixed axis. The
II cardinal equations are:
r
R R
R Ir r IR 1
I R R R ( R T2 R T1 ) IR M R2
r Ir 2
I r r R (T1 T2 ) r r R
R I r r I R , with: 1
R R r r Ir m r2
R 2
R r
r
Exercise 4.14.14

Two identical homogeneous cylinders of radii R and masses M are joined by a very thin axel passing through
their axes, with a very short distance between them.

Through a cord connected to the axel, a force F , parallel
to the inclined plane, is applied.The static and dynamic
coefficients are s and d respectively. At the time
t 0 , the cylinders are at rest. Find the angular velocity
of the cylinder after 2 [s].

DATA: F= 8 [N]; M = 2 [kg]; R= 25 [cm];


s 0.7 d 0.4 ; 30

Solution

Remarks:
Rotation around a fixed direction axis
At the beginning, friction is static
No torque is made by gravity because the body is homogeneous

Assumptions:
Positive rotation direction: clockwise
Positive x axis: from A to B along the inclined plane, origin in the initial position

Lets choose the x-axis along the inclined plane, positive downward, and the rotation positive clockwise.
Since at the beginning the cylinder is at rest, the initial friction is static. We have to test whether it remains
static or switches into dynamic. The 2 cardinal equations in the hypothesis of static friction, together with
the relationship between linear velocity x of the CM and angular velocity of the cylinder are:
I
Mx F Mg sin Fs ( M 2 ) x F Mg sin
Mx F Mg sin Fs R
N Mg cos
0 My N Mg cos
N Mg cos
I
I R Fs R F I
R2
s
R Fs
x R R2
x R
x R
F Mg sin
x
I
(M 2 )
R
N Mg cos

I F Mg sin
2 Fs
R I
(M 2 )
R
x R
Checking the static condition we find: Fs s Mg cos . Therefore:

F Mg sin F Mg sin
2 2 2
x
(t 2) dt dt dt 2
R I I
0 0 0 (M 2 ) (M 2 )
R R

Exercise 4.14.15: a schematic model of a bicycle

Two identical homogeneous disks (wheels), each one of mass M1, M2 and same radius R, are located on the
ground. Their centers are at a distance l from each other and are connected together by a thin homogeneous
rod of mass m. The friction between the disks and the ground has static and dynamic coefficients s and d
respectively and the viscosity of the air is negligible.

A pedal P can apply a torque P (accelerator)
to the forward wheel, while a mechanical

system (inside the rod) can apply a torque B
(brake) to the backward wheel.
At the initial time, the system is at rest and the
pedal starts to apply a constant torque.
Find the acceleration of the CM of the rod.


DATA: M1=5[kg]; M2=5[kg]; m=10[kg]; R=0.4[m]; l=1.2 [m]; P 160[ J ]; B 0;

Solution
Lets choose the x-axis along the ground, positive from M2 to M1, the y axis vertical, positive upward and the
rotation positive clockwise. There are 3 rigid bodies: M2 , M1 and m. They are interacting through the forces

N1 N1x i N1 y j (applied by the wheel 1 to the rod) and N 2 N 2 x i N 2 y j (applied by the wheel 2 to the
rod). The 2 wheels interact also with the ground through friction (along x) and normal vertical

forces R1g j , R1g j . To find the motion of CM we need to write the cardinal equation of all bodies, taking into
account that m does not rotate. Since at the beginning the system is at rest, the initial friction is static.

m xCM N 1x N 2 x
M 1 x1 N1x F1s
0 m yCM N1 y N 2 y mg
0 M 1 y1 N1 y R1g M 1 g
l (1) (2)
0 I CM CM ( N 2 y N1 y ) I 1 1 P .R F1s
2
x1 R 1
x1 xCM x2 x

M 2 x2 N 2 x F2 s
0 M 2 y2 N 2 y R2 g M 2 g
(3)
I 2 2 B .R F2 s
x2 R 2

The system (1) +(2) + (3) has 17 equations and 17 unknowns:

xCM , yCM , N1x , N 2 x , F1s , F2 s , yCM , N1 y , N 2 y , CM , x1 , R1g , 1 , x2 , y2 , R2 g , 2

The second lines of 1,2,3 simply evaluate the ground normal; cutting these lines:

M 1 x N1x F1s
m x N 1x N 2 x
I1
mg N 1 y N 2 y (4) 2
R P F1s (5)
R R
mg x R
N 2 y N1 y
2

M 2 x N 2 x F2 s
I2
2
R B F2 s (6)
R R
x R

Adding 2nd and 3rd in (5) and (6) and using the 2nd line of both, one gets:
mg
N 2 y N1 y
2
x R xCM x1 x2
m x N 1x N 2 x
I1
(M 1 2
) x P N 1x (5)
R R
I
( M 2 22 ) x B N 2 x
R R
I1
2
x P .F1s
R R
I2
2
x B .F2 s
R R
and adding 4th 5 and inserting in the 3rd we have:
th

I1 I
m x ( M 1 2
) x P ( M 2 22 ) x B
R R R R
I I
(m M 1 M 2 12 22 ) x ( P B )
R R R R
In the present case the data give (remembering that the wheels are identical homogeneous disks and there is
no brake:

P
x ;
R (m 3M 2 )

We have to test whether the friction remains static or switches into dynamic. The 2 static frictions are:

P I1 1 P m M2
x F1s P M 2 P
R R 2
R 2 R (m 3M 2 ) R m 3M 2
I 1 P M2
22 x F2 s M 2 P
R 2 R (m 3M 2 ) R 2 (m 3M 2 )
Inserting the data we see that friction remains static, therefore the acceleration of the CM is:
P
xCM x
R (m 3M 2 )