Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite

Edward F. Redish

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Rotational vs. linear energy of motion

(a) Describe how a solid ball can move so that

  1. its total kinetic energy is just the energy of motion of its center of mass, and
  2. its total kinetic energy is the energy of its motion relative to its center of mass.

(b) Two bowling balls are moving down a bowling alley so that their centers of mass have the same velocity, but one just slides down the alley, while the other rolls down the alley. Which ball has more energy? Explain your reasoning.

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Page last modified October 30, 2002: R10