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There It Goes Again!



Continuing on with my family and wheels falling off of vehicles, I turn to a tale told to me by my mother not too many moons ago. It begins with her, driving in her car. I don't recall many of the details, but she was on the expressway, or was it the parkway? I'm going to go with driveway. So my mom was doing about 65 on the driveway when all of a sudden out of the corner of her eye she spotted it (Shia LaBouf) (this is completely off topic and has nothing to do with the story but if you get the reference joke I applaud you) Anyway... She was driving along when she saw something speeding ahead of her. It was indeed her wheel. Now just to be clear, this was not just the rubber tire that fell off, this was the entire flippin' wheel. All those metal bits that connect the rubber to the car suddenly stopped connecting the rubber to the car. The wheel went careening off toward the side of the driveway, and my mother veered across a lane or two and managed to safely stop the vehicle without any serious damage being done to her. This is an interesting physics observation because, after the initial separation from the car which I am still unaware of the cause, the wheel went faster than the car, even though it no longer had any force on it pushing it forward. This can be linked to many things, the kinetic energy of the system (including rotational), the momentum of the system, friction occurring in the car that no longer constrains the wheel, allowing it to finally be free of the oppressive weight of the tyrannical car. Any of these, and more likely all of them combined, are the cause if this random observation. 


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