Question: While reducing the mass of a racing bike, the greatest benefit is realized from reducing the mass of the tires and wheel rims. Why does this allow a racer to achieve greater accelerations than would an identical reduction in the mass of the bicycle’s frame?
Greater acceleration in bicycle can be achieved by reducing the mass of tires and rims.
Moment of inertia is obtained by the addition of the product of mass and the distance squared for all the masses comprising the body.
In racing bike, wheels are the rotating parts not the frame of the bike. By reducing the mass of tires and the wheel rims, its moment of inertia gets reduced.
The moment of inertia of wheel rim is given by,
Here, M is the mass of tire and the rim together and R is the distance between the wheel axle to the rim.
Work done during cycling is used in the rotational energy of the tires and rim. When the mass of tires and rims is reduced, higher velocities can be achieved with less work. This achievement of high velocities means high acceleration.
Consider the Earth-Moon system. Construct a problem in which you calculate the total angular momentum of the system including the spins of the Earth and the Moon on their axes and the orbital angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system in its nearly monthly rotation. Calculate what happens to the Moon’s orbital radius if the Earth’s rotation decreases due to tidal drag. Among the things to be considered are the amount by which the Earth’s rotation slows and the fact that the Moon will continue to have one side always facing the Earth.
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