I enjoyed being reminded of and reading about Aristotle’s Wheel Paradox by Xu, Yan, and Wang in the March 2022 issue of The Physics Teacher. As stated in the article, “the core of the paradox is the question of whether the small wheel is sliding.” But a mathematical analysis is not needed to answer that question. Like the claim at Aristotle’s time that heavier objects fall faster than light objects, this question can be answered in less than a minute by doing an experiment. The photo shows the simple apparatus that I used to show that the small wheel slides.

It is tempting to see that there may be a paradox when looking at a diagram where the radius r of the small wheel is a significant fraction of the radius R of the large wheel. There is, however, no temptation to see a paradox in a diagram with a...

AAPT members receive access to The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.