Date: Dec 20, 2012 5:55 PM
Author: Louis Talman
Subject: Re: Physics problem --ball rolling down an inclined plane
On Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:32:50 -0700, Peter Duveen <pduveen@yahoo.com> wrote:

> High school physics students are taught so-called Newtonian mechanics,

> but cannot solve the simple problem of a ball rolling down an inclined

> plane. Rigid bodies are outside the purview of Newtonian mechanics, as

> Newton himself seems to have admitted in The Principia. However, the

> application of D'Alembert's Principle yields a solution to this simple

> problem. The problem becomes particularly simple when worked out for a

> thin cylinder or ring rolling down an inclined plane. Should high school

> students be introduced to D'Alembert's Principle?

Have they been introduced to moments of inertia? That's a topic that's

mostly beyond the high school level because one must be able to set up a

multi-dimensional integral to compute them.

Even then, I'd think that Conservation of Energy might give an easier

solution.

- --Lou Talman

Department of Mathematical & Computer Sciences

Metropolitan State University of Denver

<http://rowdy.mscd.edu/~talmanl>