Circular Motion Video Lessons

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Problem: An ant of mass m clings to the rim of a flywheel of radius r, as shown above. The flywheel rotates clockwise on a horizontal shaft S with constant angular velocity ω. As the wheel rotates, the ant revolves past the stationary points I, II, III, and IV. The ant can adhere to the wheel with a force much greater than its own weight. 1. It will be most difficult for the ant to adhere to the wheel as it revolves past which of the four points? (A) I (B) II (C) III (D) IV (E) It will be equally difficult for the ant to adhere to the wheel at all points. 2. What is the magnitude of the minimum adhesion force necessary for the ant to stay on the flywheel at point III? (A) mg (B) mω2r (C) mω2r2 + mg (D) mω2r – mg  (E) mω2r + mg 

FREE Expert Solution

This problem is all about the direction of net force in circular motion. 

Newton's second law:

ΣF=ma

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Problem Details


An ant of mass m clings to the rim of a flywheel of radius r, as shown above. The flywheel rotates clockwise on a horizontal shaft S with constant angular velocity ω. As the wheel rotates, the ant revolves past the stationary points I, II, III, and IV. The ant can adhere to the wheel with a force much greater than its own weight. 

1. It will be most difficult for the ant to adhere to the wheel as it revolves past which of the four points? 

(A) I 

(B) II 

(C) III 

(D) IV 

(E) It will be equally difficult for the ant to adhere to the wheel at all points. 

2. What is the magnitude of the minimum adhesion force necessary for the ant to stay on the flywheel at point III? 

(A) mg 

(B) mω2

(C) mω2r2 + mg 

(D) mω2r – mg  

(E) mω2r + mg 

Frequently Asked Questions

What scientific concept do you need to know in order to solve this problem?

Our tutors have indicated that to solve this problem you will need to apply the Circular Motion concept. You can view video lessons to learn Circular Motion. Or if you need more Circular Motion practice, you can also practice Circular Motion practice problems.

What professor is this problem relevant for?

Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Klein's class at UM.