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Explain why a wheel rolling on a flat horizontal surface cannot be slowed down by static friction. Assuming no slipping, what does slow the wheel down?

Explain why a wheel rolling on a flat horizontal surface cannot be slowed down by static friction. Assuming no slipping, what does slow the wheel down?

Grade:upto college level

2 Answers

erra akhil
208 Points
6 years ago
Staic means at rest.Static Friction acts only when the bodies are at rest.
Rolling friction can slow down a wheel during its rolling.
Kevin Nash
askIITians Faculty 332 Points
6 years ago
Static friction is responsible for producing the turning effect in the wheel or otherwise the wheel would slide. In presence of the static friction, the velocity of the point in contact with the ground is v = Rω .Also, the translational motion of the wheel, gives each point a velocity of vcm.
When the velocity due to translational motion of wheel, at the point of contact with the ground, is equal to tangential velocity at that point, then the wheel rolls without slipping.
Therefore one can see that the frictional force is responsible for slowing down the wheel, but bringing the point of contact instantaneously at rest.
It is the rolling friction which is responsible for slowing the wheel. The deformation in the shape of the surface over which the wheel is rolled generates a reaction force. This force has two components, one of which is in a direction opposite to the translational motion of wheel. Therefore the component of the reaction force is responsible for slowing wheel down.

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