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Sree Surya Kumar
Sree Surya Kumar, MBA
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Physics problem -- rotational dynamics -- three can of equal

Customer Question

physics problem -- rotational dynamics -- three can of equal mass and shape are rolling down an incline. can A contains beans, can B contains chicken broth, can C contains evaporated milk. Which can reaches the bottom first and WHY?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Homework
Expert:  Ingo U replied 1 year ago.

Do you think this is a trick question? On the surface, the answer would be they all behave the same way, if they have the same mass and shape. F=ma

Technically I suppose the internal movement of the contents, i.e. friction of loose against each other and viscosity of the liquids would result in some of the potential energy being "redirected" from the overall kinetic energy available to accelerate the can... but I think maybe one would need to know more about the conditions inside the can and properties of the materials. Are the beans tightly packed? How much fat does the chicken broth have? Are the cans completely full?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is not a trick question -- I'll send this back out -- need a physics expert
Expert:  Ingo U replied 1 year ago.

OK fair enough. But I'll put my guess forward that the evaporated milk gets there first, because it is a low-viscosity liquid without particles., and less of it will need to be spun while rolling, thereby leaving more of the total potential energy available to accelerate the object linerarly. When the cans reach the bottom, all the bean particles will have rotational and linear kinetic energy, but only the outer portions of the milk touching the inside surface of the can will.

Expert:  Sree Surya Kumar replied 1 year ago.

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