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Name: Unknown
Status: student
Age: 19
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Date: 2000-2001


Question:
How does rotational interia affect the cornering ability of a vechile? Does this relationship change depending on the surface, weight, or speed of the car?


Replies:
Rotational inertia is an objects resistance to having its rotational velocity changed. It is difficult to cause an object of high rotational inertia to start rotating. Once such an object is rotating, it is difficult to stop it. To turn a corner, a car must rotate exactly 90 degrees. As the car begins to turn, it begins to rotate. When the car comes out of the turn, it stops rotating. A car going through a turn slowly has plenty of time to start and stop rotating. A car going through a turn quickly must start and stop rotating in much less time.

Rotational inertia depends on mass and how it is distributed. It is easiest to control the rotation of a yardstick when rotated around an axis from end-to-end. When rotating it in the more "traditional" way, around an axis perpendicular to the stick, starting and stopping quickly become much more difficult to cause.

Surface has nothing to do with rotational inertia. Surface is a factor in the torque the car can obtain from the ground. Torque is the rotational coutnerpart of force. It is how hard something is twisted rather than how hard something is pushed.

Kenneth Mellendorf



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