Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Q. How can the wheels in "The Cog" roll uphill?

"I have a question about the honda Cog commercial. I can believe that everything is real up until the point of the tires rolling "up" the boards, bouncing off each other, stopping, and then going again."

A. They weighted the wheels at the top and then carefully balanced them. This is created n unstable equilibrium position, so the wheels could balance there untill they were disturbed - once they were bumped they rolled. Although they went up the ramp, their centers of mass went downward, so there is no violation of the laws of conservation of energy.

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