Students twirl equal mass wands, one with the mass at the ends and the other with the mass at the middle. The moment of inertia is found to depend on the shape.
While the shape of an object is not important for translation, it is critical for rotation of an object.
NCEA & Science Curriculum
Construct as shown in the photo of the apparatus. Have students verify that the force required to move the apparatus back and forth does not depend on the location of the masses, but the torque required to rotate the apparatus does. These are 1 Kg masses and the rod is from an equipment stand. Four clamps are required for each setup. A set of instructions for use by students is included under other materials below. This demo is used in Phys 114 Lab as a warm-up.
Photo of the apparatus in use:
Individual teachers are responsible for safety in their own classes. Even familiar demonstrations should be practised and safety-checked by individual teachers before they are used in a classroom.
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