When we first start out in our physics class, they only ask us to consider objects moving in a straight line, and we can handle that just fine. But then they go and complicate things by asking us to consider an object being rotated about an access. And they start using phrases like momentum of interia, also known as mass momentum of inertia. Suddenly we start to feel unsure. Do we still do things the same way as before? Let’s look at this together and see if we can figure it out.

so what is a mass momentum of inertia?

In simple terms, the mass momentum of inertia, refers to the resistance an object has to changes in its motion or rotation. It is related to the concept of inertia, which states that an object tends to keep doing what it’s already doing unless a force is applied to it.

Imagine you have a heavy object, like a large rock, and you try to push it. If the rock has a high mass momentum of inertia, it will be harder to get it moving because it resists changes in its state of rest. Similarly, if the rock is already moving, it will be harder to stop or change its direction because it wants to keep moving in the same way.

The mass of an object affects its mass momentum of inertia. The greater the mass, the greater the resistance to changes in motion or rotation. For example, a small ball will be easier to push or stop compared to a heavy ball with the same size.

Additionally, the distribution of mass within an object also affects its mass momentum of inertia. If most of the mass is concentrated far from the axis of rotation, the object will have a higher mass momentum of inertia. This is why it can be easier to spin a pencil around its axis than a book.

Overall, the mass momentum of inertia tells us how much effort is required to change the motion or rotation of an object. Higher mass momentum of inertia means more resistance to changes, and it depends on both the mass and distribution of mass within the object.

how is the mass momentum of interia calculated?

The mass momentum of inertia, also known as moment of inertia, is calculated using the formula:

I = m * r2


  • I represents the moment of inertia,
  • m is the mass of the object, and
  • r is the distance between the object’s axis of rotation and the mass element being considered.

This formula assumes that the object is rotating around a fixed axis. The moment of inertia tells us how the mass is distributed in relation to that axis and how it affects the object’s resistance to changes in rotation.

If an object is made up of multiple masses at different distances from the axis of rotation, you need to sum up the contributions from each mass element to calculate the total moment of inertia. This is done using integration in calculus. The formula becomes:

I = ∫ r2 * dm

where the integral is taken over the entire mass distribution of the object. This integral equation accounts for the different distances of each mass element from the axis of rotation.

However, for simple shapes like spheres, cylinders, or rectangular objects with uniform density, there are specific formulas to calculate their moment of inertia. These formulas take into account the shape and dimensions of the object, simplifying the calculation process.

It’s important to note that the moment of inertia depends on the chosen axis of rotation. Different axes will yield different values for the moment of inertia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *