Skill 11 of 14
In Progress

Energy in rolling

The wheel is a game changer! Everyone knows that.

But exactly why?

It turns out to be because wheels don’t expend energy! (At least no ideally.)

Imagine moving a box up a hill:

  • Without wheels it is sliding. Kinetic friction does negative work, which you must balance out by doing even more work.
  • With wheels, nothing is sliding!

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  1. Rolling Resistance’ (web page), Engineering ToolBox, 2008, (accessed Jul. 3rd, 2020)
  2. Friction’ (encyclopedia), Encyclopædia Britannica inc., 2020, (accessed Jul. 3rd, 2020)
  3. Sears and Zemansky’s Univesity Physics with Modern Physics’ (book), Hugh D. Young & Roger A. Freedman, Pearson Education, 13th ed., 2012