1K20.42 - Rolling and Sliding Friction

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Rolling and Sliding Friction
Coefficient of Static and Kinetic Friction
Area of Study:
Roller with Hooks on the Side and Ends and Large Spring Scales.

Hook a spring scale onto the roller and show that 2 1/2 - 3 Newtons of force is needed to roll the heavy cylinder.  Then hook the spring scale to the end eye hook and show that upwards to 50 Newtons is needed to slide the cylinder.

  • Rod Cross, "Rolling and Sliding Down an Inclined Plane", TPT, Vol. 61, #7, Oct. 2023, p. 568.
  • Rod Cross, "Acceleration of a Ball Up an Incline", TPT, Vol. 61, #5, May 2023, p. 378.
  • Carl E. Mungan, "A Race Between Rolling and Sliding Up and Down an Incline", TPT, Vol. 59, #4, April 2021, p. 247.
  • Mario S. N. F. Gomes, Pedro Pereira da Silva, Manuela Ramos Silva, "The Effect of a Tangential Frictional Force on Rotating Disks: An Experimental Approach", TPT, Vol. 58, #4, April 2020, p. 260.
  • Álvaro Suárez, Daniel Baccino, and Arturo C. Martí, "Video-Based Analysis of the Transition from Slipping to Rolling", TPT, Vol. 58, #3, Mar. 2020, p. 170.
  • Paulo Simeão Carvalho and Adriana Sampaio e Sousa, "An Inexpensive Technique to Measure Coefficients of Friction with Rolling Solids", TPT, Vol. 43, # 8, Nov. 2005, p. 548.
  • Francesc Castellvi, Joan I. Rosell, and Pedro J. Perez, "Using PlasticineTM to Measure the Rolling Friction Coefficient", TPT, Vol. 33, #5, May 1995, p. 276.
  • Robert J. Reiland, "Two Fundamental Surprises", TPT, Vol. 27, #5, May 1989, p. 326.
  • Mario Iona, "Sliding is Faster Than Rolling", TPT, Vol. 27, #4, Apr. 1989, p. 230.
  • John Sherfinski, "Rotational Dynamics—Two Fundamental Issues", TPT, Vol. 26, #5, May 1988, p. 290.
  • L. Lam and E. Lowy, "Static Friction of a Rolling Wheel", TPT, Vol. 25, #8, Nov. 1987, p. 504.
  • Andreas Müller et al., "A model experiment on the modern microscopic theory of sliding friction", TPT, Vol. 61, #4, Apr. 2023, p. 308.
  • Rod Cross, "A Note on Combining Sliding and Rolling Friction", AJP, Vol. 91, #10, Oct. 2023, p. 855.
  • Y. Xu, K. L. Yung, and S. M. Ko, "A Classroom Experiment to Measure the Speed-Dependent Coefficient of Rolling Friction", AJP, Vol. 75, #6, June 2007, p. 571.
  • Frank S. Crawford, "Home-Experimental Demonstrations of Hart's Frictional Force Rotator", AJP, Vol. 51, #9, Sep. 1983, p. 804.
  • Donald E. Shaw, "Frictional Force on Rolling Objects", AJP, Vol. 47, #10, Oct. 1979, p. 887.
  • D. Rae Carpenter Jr. and Richard B. Minnix, "M- 622. Car with Locked Wheels", DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook, 1993.
  • G. D. Freier and F. J. Anderson, "Mk-2", A Demonstration Handbook for Physics.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, “Rolling, Rolling, Rolling on a River“, A Demo A Day – A Year of Physical Science Demonstrations, p. 266.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.