Document Type

Conference Presentation

Publication Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. John Zwart


Physics and Astronomy


science, experiments, motion, analysis, rotation, acceleration


If you race a hoop and a disk of equal mass and radius by rolling them down a ramp, the disk will reach the bottom first due to the difference in how the mass is distributed. For rolling solid objects, this phenomenon is straightforward to model. However, if you roll a hollow cylinder filled with fluid, the situation is more complex due to the way fluid properties, such as viscosity, effect rotation. We are analyzing the motion of fluids and beads in a cylinder in order to observe viscosity effects on the fluid-cylinder system. By examining a rolling fluid-cylinder system containing various fluids and amounts, we find significant variations in the motion.


Presented at the Iowa Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers Meeting held in Des Moines, Iowa, on November 7, 2015.