oPhysics: Interactive Physics Simulations

Rotational Inertia Lab (choice of three scenarios)

This simulation is actually three simulations in one. Students can experiment with a rotating object with various forces applied to it. They can choose a single constant force, a tension force caused by a single falling mass, or an at wood's machine type situation with two hanging masses. Many factors can be adjusted, including all masses, the radius of the rotating object, and the mass distribution of the rotating object.

Use the checkboxes at the upper right to choose the situation you want to simulate. Use the other checkboxes to select the type (mass distribution) of circular object. Use the sliders to adjust the radius and mass of the circular object. Use the other sliders to adjust either the amount of force applied at the object's rim, the mass of the falling mass, or the masses of the two hanging masses (depending on the Simulation Type you have chosen). Press the Start button to begin the animation. Soon the amount of torque acting, the rotating object's angular acceleration, and the linear acceleration will be shown. Press the Pause button to pause the animation and the Reset button to reset the animation.