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Slipping the map under the cap

Dr Joseph Shapira jshapira@netvision.net.il

An abrupt pull of the map from the table leaves the table set (almost) intact. This is a familiar experience. An impressive demonstration of slipping the map under 24 table-sets over a 6 m long table, leaving the sets undisturbed (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfnt8Sdj7cs#t=34) rose a vivid discussion in the physics-teachers community which deserves the following analysis. Initial state: a cap ( marked A in Figure 1) is placed on the map covering a table, a distance d from its end. Its mass is mA and its coefficient of static friction is AS. The map is designated B, its mass is mB and its coefficient of static friction with the table is BS. A horizontal force F is applied to the map (pulling the map).

N
A B F

fB = (mA+mB)gBs

mAg
D

mBg
d

Figure 1: Initial state. Force diagram. The following evolves in sequential phases. For sake of simplicity the cap is considered stable (assuming it is a point mass). Phase 1: As the pull starts, the force F increases. The map does not move until F reaches the maximal static friction force between the map and the table. ( ) (1).

No horizontal force is applied to the cap, as the map does not move. Phase 2: F surpasses the maximal static friction force between the map and the table:

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014

The map starts moving with acceleration aB. Two different phases ensue, depending on the coefficient of static friction between the cap and the map: 1. The static friction between the cap and the map is high enough to move the cap with the map without slipping aA=aB and as portrayed in Figure 21.

fBA
F

fB + fAB

mAg

mBg
d

Figure 2: Force diagram. The map accelerates and the cap moves with the map. The horizontal forces on the cap:

The horizontal forces on the map:

( or ( )( )

) (2)

which reaches its maximum for aA=gAS. The cap moves with the map as long as ( )( ) ( )( ) (3)

Only when aA=gAS the static friction force is overcome and the cap slips on the map (see Figure 3).

The expression mAgAS defines the maximal static friction force between the cap and the map. The static friction force holds the cap to the map and is equal to mAaB.
1

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014

Figure 3: Balance of forces when the cap slips over the map 2. The maximal static friction between the cap and the map is small enough to allow the cap to slip over the map as the map starts moving ( )( ) ( )

(4)

The cap slips over the map with acceleration aA and against a dynamic friction force A. Then ( ( ) ) ( ) ( ) . (5)

The (dry) friction model assumes that the friction force mAgA is independent of the value of cap velocity over the map, but only on the existence of a velocity difference between the map and the cap. The initial condition for the slip is aB>aA , but once a difference in velocities is established the slip continues, and the cap is accelerated, even when the map acceleration diminishes, as long as there is a velocity difference. These phases are portrayed in Figure 4. Equations (1)-(4) designate the value of the force for the transitions between the phases.

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014

Static equilibrium

Case 1: The cap is accelerated with the map and slips once the static friction is overcome
Case 2: The cap slips

t
Figure 4: Plot of the force along the phases The distance that the cap travels before it slips off the map is readily calculated. If the map accelerates with constant acceleration aB then the distance sA is

Where d is the length of the tail of the map as in Figures 1-3. Once the cap slips off the map it moves on the bare table a distance sAT until it stops by the friction between the cap and the table, according to its coefficient AT . sAT/sA=ATA and the total distance is ( )

The impulse acquired by the cap during the acceleration of the cap with the map (case 1) is neglected, assuming that the rise of the force is fast and the time elapsed until the cap slips is negligible compared to the time the cap slips.

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014

A more realistic case will be addressed now, where the force is high at the start (the map is pulled abruptly) up to time tm , and then it reduces to a value that allows the map to move at constant speed, as portrayed in Figure 5.

aB aA tm Force Caps speed td t0 t Maps speed

Figure 5: Sequence of events for the cap and for the map The initial force accelerates the map with acceleration up to time tm and

consequently maintains a fixed speed, by just overcoming the friction forces ( )

While the cap maintains a constant acceleration aA . Two conditions are required for the cap to stay on the table: 1. The cap slips off the tail of the map (if not it is dragged with the map from the table) 2. The path that the cap travels (sA+sAT) is shorter than the initial distance of the cap from the end of the table D (see Figure 1) : D>sA+sAT. The cap will slip off the tail of the map at a time td only as long as its speed is lower than that of the map, td<t0. This is translated to a condition on the minimum length of time that the map is accelerated tm (derived in appendix 1):

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014

The minimum duration of acceleration tm that ensures that the cap slips off the map is plotted in Figure 6.
4.50
4.00 3.50 3.00 2.50 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50

0.00

td>t0 The cap is dragged with the map

td t0 The cap slips off the map

0.95 0.9 0.85 0.8 0.75 0.7 0.65 0.6 0.55 0.5 0.45 0.4 0.35 0.3 0.25

Figure 6: minimum duration of acceleration Slipping off the tail of the map is not enough. The point where the cap slips has to be far enough from the end of the table to ensure that it stops before the end - sA+sAT<D. This distance bounds the time of slippage td and depends only on the friction coefficients (refer to appendix 2):
( )

A few comments 1. Static friction is a shear force between surfaces adhering to each other by electrical, chemical or surface roughness. The shear stress is elastic to the point of breakdown, which is very fast avalanche process ( of the order of fractions of a second), and is therefore considered by the model as instantaneous. 2. Typical values for static friction coefficient between various materials are provided in http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/211_fall2002.web.dir/ben_townsend/staticandkineticfriction.htm 3. A successful demonstration of the cap slippage off the map depends on an initial acceleration of the map exceeding the static friction force of the cap with the map. Once applied, the process of tearing the static friction is almost instantaneous and does not cause any measurable shift of

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014

the cap (it may cause the cap to fall over, however, due to the moment between its inertia, acting at its center of mass, and the friction that acts at the base). The cap then accelerates steadily till its speed matches that of the map or it slips off the tail of the map. Such demonstrations are therefore successful when the tail of the map is short enough. Conclusions The mystery of the bikes pulling the map, that initiated this discussion, is unveiled in the following links http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Uzc8wrKCrQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9JrTUbtDNU

Acknowledgement Dr. Yaron Lehavi and Dr. Hana Berger are acknowledged for reviewing, commenting and correcting.

Appendix 1 The distance that the tail of the map travelled is The distance that the cap shifted is . ( ) ( ).

The difference between these when the cap slips off is d. ( But Then )

But

(see figure 4). Only the second solution is applicable, and the expression under the square-

root sign has to be positive. Then

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014

Appendix 2 The distance that the cap shifted until slipping off the map is The distance it slips over the bare table until stop is stopping. But and therefore . where tAT is the duration of

The distance of the cap from the edge of the table at the time td has to exceed sAT

Dr Joseph Shapira

Slipping the map under the cap

1.4.2014