Schottenbauer Publishing

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Understanding Translational and Rotational Motion from a Bicycle Wheel

Bicycles are wonderful teaching tools, because they demonstrate the physics of both translational and rotational motion. The free YouTube video, Understanding the Motion of the Wheel from Schottenbauer Publishingprovides graphical analysis of video footage. In the video, spatial analysis of motion (e.g., what does the motion look like to a viewer) is compared to graphical analysis of motion (e.g., what does the motion look like in a graph). This video can supplement traditional lectures on the science of basic motion.

Understanding the Motion of the Wheel
(Free YouTube Video)

The four sets of pictures below are excerpted from the video.

Translational Motion
Axis at Point 1, Time = 0

Rotational Motion
Axis at Center of Wheel

Rotational Motion
Axis at Point 1, Time = 0 

Translational + Rotational Motion
Axis at Point 1, Time = 0 

Discussion Questions

  1. In each excerpt from the video, what has been traced?
  2. What is the pattern of the foot pedal, in comparison to the wheel? Provide an answer for each of the four examples above.
  3. On a separate piece of paper, draw each graph as it would appear if the motion had continued for another 20 seconds.
  4. In the fourth graph, why is the red line slightly curved?
  5. Redraw the fourth graph with a different origin of axis.
  6. If you have learned wave functions in class, write an equation for each line shown above.
  7. Name several other examples of translational and rotational motion from real-life transportation.
  8. Why is graphical analysis different than a video analysis?

The following books from Schottenbauer Publishing contain similar types of graphs and data pertaining to the science of bicycles:

Graphs & Data for Science Lab: Multi-Volume Series
  • The Science of the Wheel
    • Volume 1: Force, Velocity, Acceleration
    • Volume 2: Video Analysis, Force, Velocity, Acceleration
    • Volume 3: Video Analysis, Force
  • The Science of Exercise Equipment
    • Volume 1: Force, Velocity, Acceleration
    • Volume 2: Biophysics
    • Volume 3: Video Analysis
    • Volume 4: Video Analysis
Anthologies of 28 Graphs
    • The Science of Transportation
    • The Science of Physical Fitness
    • The Science of Summer Olympic Sports

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