# Maxwell's Wheel

**Topics:**Moment of inertia, Fundamental physics concepts, Rotation

**Pages:**4 (978 words)

**Published:**March 1, 2012

Introduction:

The second lab performed on 2/1/12 involved two investigations concerning Maxwell’s wheel. Maxwell’s wheel is an apparatus that consists of a large disk with a long axle. The disk then bound to a support hanging from above with strings attached to each end of the axle. Maxwell’s wheel is considered to be an important apparatus to investigate physical phenomenon’s because it its ability to combine straight line motion and rotation of a rigid body. The two investigations performed during the lab included investigation 1; an investigation into the moment of inertia of Maxwell’s wheel and investigation 2; an investigation into the dynamics of Maxwell’s wheel.

Data & Analysis

Investigation 1

In order to calculate the moment of inertia of Maxwell’s wheel the moments of inertia of the disk and the axle had to be added to each other. In order to perform this task various quantities and qualitative data were calculated and collected.

The mass of Maxwell’s wheel was recorded to be 0.738 kilograms. In order obtain the volume of Maxwell’s wheel the volume of the disk and the axel had to be calculated separately and then added together.

The volume of the rod was calculated as equal to 2 * 3.14 * r^2 * d, where r is the radius of the rod was measured to be .065 cm. The final calculation for volume of the rod was: = 3.14 * (0.0065^2) * 0.192 = 2.54717E-05 cm^3

The volume of the disk was calculated as equal to 3.14 * r^2 * d, where r is the radius of the disk was measured to be .065 cm. The final calculation for volume of the disk was: = 3.14 * (0.11^2) * 0.006 = 0.000227964 cm^3

The sum of the two volumes gave total volume for the apparatus the calculation for which is give below:

.000227964 cm^3 + 2.54717E-05 cm^3 = 0.000253436 cm^3

Using this calculated volume of the wheel and weighed mass of the wheel, density was calculated:

Ro = 0.738 / 0.000253436 = 2911.981454 kg/m^2, which came...

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