Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Rolling Force
Name:  Brian
Status:  student
Age:  16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
Why does a can of cranberry sauce roll so far?


Replies:
A can of cranberry sauce rolls so far because it is thick and heavy. There are two physical quantities of concern here: momentum and angular momentum. When you push the can, you give it momentum. By making the can roll, you also give it angular momentum. The thickness of the sauce makes the cranberry sauce rotate with the can itself.

Both quantities are proportional to mass and speed. The can stops after both momentum and angular momentum have been removed. Because a rolling object does not slide along the table, friction cannot take away the momentum or angular momentum. Only air molecules can do this. The more mass and velocity an object has, the more time is required for the momentum to be drained. [A more extreme example is a bowling ball vs. a balloon. If both are moving at the same speed, it is much more difficult to stop the bowling ball because of its much greater mass.]

Kenneth Mellendorf



Click here to return to the Physics Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory