|In our earlier discussions of mechanics, we have been relying on what physicists call "the particle model" of a material body. No problem with that, except that now we want to analyze the motion of an extended body in which different parts have relative motion with regard to each other. Unlike a particle, such an extended body can undergo rotation. To first approach the more complex motion of rotation, it is helpful to have recourse to a simplified model system. In rotation, the simplified model system is the rigid body rotating around a fixed axis.|
Although straightforward rotation problems seem to show up a bit less on the MCAT compared to the rest of classical mechanics, it is still an important topic for MCAT review. Comparison of rolling versus sliding motion has appeared fairly often, and static equilibrium problems involving summation of torque have appeared a few times.