Teaching Physics with the Physics Suite
Edward F. Redish
One proposal for reducing air pollution is the flywheel-driven automobile. Instead of an engine, the car contains a large steel disk, or flywheel, which is mounted to rotate about a vertical axis. It is set spinning at a high angular velocity in the early morning using electric power (from plugging it into the wall). If the car is to be about the same size as a typical car today, estimate the amount of energy that could be stored in a rotating steel flywheel that fits under the car's hood. You may find some of the following numbers useful:
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Page last modified October 15, 2002 R16