508 Anti-Gravity Wheel

We expect the biscuit tin to roll downslope. Why?


We assume that the biscuit tin has its center of mass (C.M.) at the center of the tin. If so, when the tin roll downward, the C.M. goes lower. So the tin loses GPE to gain KE. Everything makes sense.


The biscuit tin in the video however has a C.M. that is off centre (because of the mass of the magnets). If the C.M. is positioned on the uphill side, the tin rolls upward, but the C.M. actually goes lower. So again, the tin loses GPE to gain KE. There is nothing “anti-gravity” about the tin’s motion.

Picture3It is even possible for the tin to rest on the slope. This occurs when the C.M. of the tin is vertically above the contact point. The allows the contact force FC  to balances the weight of the tin, and yet does not exert any moment about the C.M. of the tin.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s