Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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The Sliding Pizza

One day I was coming home late for work and stopped to pick up a pizza for dinner. I put the pizza box on the dashboard of my car and pushed it forward against the windshield and left against the steering wheel to prevent it from falling. (See picture.) Before I started driving, I realized that it could still slide to the right or back towards the seat. When driving, do I have to worry about it sliding more when I turn left or when I turn right? Do I have to worry more when I speed up or when I slow down? Explain your answer in terms of the physics you have learned.

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Page last modified September 30, 2002: D05