Rolling, rotation and torque are three terms very often associated with description of bodies undergoing motion that is both rotational and translation in nature.

The invention of wheel and the way it has been used to great effect in advancement of human race is of top order. While the wheel looks like a simple devise, it rolls with it some amazing Physics and that’s what we are going to study in this lesson.

Very basic thing to learn in this lesson is Rolling motion of a wheel.

So a wheel can rotate about its own axis like say this wheel stuck in snow with no forward movement or it could have linear motion also called translation motion only; that is this wheel just flies across straight ahead with NO rotation at all. Well this would be a rare situation but to understand the Physics of it, just imagine this situation as well. And what you would observe is that the center of mass moves in a straight line here and actually so do the other points on this wheel.

But if you have a wheel that combines rotation and linear motion, what you get is this, a wheel rolling ahead. And it assumes there is no slippage that is no breaks or bumps while it rolls. Here, the center of mass moves in a straight line or has linear motion and any other point on the wheel has rotatory motion.

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Learn how linear velocity of top of the wheel is 2 times that of the center and is Zero at the bottom!!