Publication details

Rolling friction - models and experiment. An undergraduate student project.



Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source European Journal of Physics
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Theoretical physics
Keywords rolling friction; physics education
Description In this paper the model of the rolling friction (rolling resistance) is studied theoretically and experimentally on the undergraduate level of the fundamental course of general physics. Rolling motions of a cylinder along horizontal or inclined planes are studied by simple experiments, measuring deformations of the underlay or of the rolling body. The rolling of a hard cylinder on a soft underlay as well as of a soft cylinder on a hard underlay is studied. The experimental data are treated by the open source software Tracker, appropriate for the use on the undergraduate level of physics. Interpretation of results is based on elementary considerations comprehensible to university students – beginners. It appears that the commonly accepted model of rolling resistance based on the idea of a warp (little bulge) on the underlay front of the rolling body does not correspond with experimental results even for soft underlay and hard rolling body. The alternative model of the rolling resistance is suggested in agreement with experiment and the corresponding concept of the rolling resistance coefficient is presented. In addition to the obtained results we can conclude that the project can be used as a task for students in practical exercises of the fundamental undergraduate course of general physics. Projects of the similar type effectively contribute to the development of physical thinking of students.

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