Circular motion about a central point or axis

learn more… | top users | synonyms

48
votes
8answers
13k views

Proof that the Earth rotates?

What is the proof, without leaving the Earth, and involving only basic physics, that the earth rotates around its axis? By basic physics I mean the physics that the early physicists must've used to ...
33
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the sun rotate?

As implied from the question, does the sun rotate? If so, do other stars not including the sun also rotate? Would there be any consequences if the sun and other stars didn't rotate? Me and my friends ...
31
votes
8answers
10k views

Would it matter if the Earth rotated clockwise?

In the Futurama episode "That Darn Katz!" they save the world by rotating the Earth backwards saying it shouldn't matter (which direction Earth rotates). If Earth rotated clockwise and remained in ...
28
votes
10answers
3k views

What is the Earth truly rotating about/revolving around?

Earth rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun, the sun revolves around the galaxy, the galaxy is also moving. So Earth's net rotation as observed from a fixed inertial frame consists of all ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

Artificial gravity on rotating spaceship?

One of the possible ways to simulate gravity in outer space is to have a rotating spaceship, so that the centrifugal force experienced provides a gravity-like force. My question is: shouldn't this ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

Why does rotation simulate gravity if motion is relative?

In Einstein's theory of relativity, if motion is truly relative, then why would somebody in a rotating space station experience gravity? I mean, I get why they experience gravity IF the space station ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

Which way do spiral galaxies rotate?

Is it known whether spiral galaxies typically (or exclusively?) rotate with the arms trailing or facing? Intuitively it feels weird to think of the arms as facing the direction of rotation, but ...
14
votes
1answer
211 views

Is period of rotation relative?

My question is inspired by the following answer by voix to another problem: "There is a real object with relativistic speed of surface - millisecond pulsar. The swiftest spinning pulsar currently ...
11
votes
4answers
38k views

Does the rotation of the earth dramatically affect airplane flight time?

Say I'm flying from Sydney, to Los Angeles (S2LA), back to Sydney (LA2S). During S2LA, travelling with the rotation of the earth, would the flight time be longer than LA2S on account of Los Angeles ...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

What is the difference between translation and rotation?

What is the difference between translation and rotation ? If this were a mathematics site, the question would be at best naive. But this is physics site, and the question must be interpreted as a ...
10
votes
2answers
733 views

If the Earth didn't rotate, how would a Foucault pendulum work?

How does the Foucault pendulum work exactly, and would it work at all, if the Earth didn't rotate?
10
votes
2answers
221 views

Understanding the “$\pi$” of a rotating disk

Let us say you are in an inertial reference frame with a circular planar disk. If you take your meter measuring rods (or perhaps tape measure) you can find the diameter and circumference of the disk. ...
10
votes
3answers
440 views

What's wrong with this application of Thomas Precession to circular motion velocity measurements?

If you happen to have the Third Edition of Classical Electrodynamics by John David Jackson, turn to section 11.8, as that's where I'm getting all this from. If not, you should still be able to follow ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

How is it that angular velocities are vectors, while rotations aren't?

Does anyone have an intuitive explanation of why this is the case?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the cause of centripetal/centrifugal force?

What is the cause of centripetal/centrifugal force? When an object of mass $m$ is moved in a circular orbit, it experiences a centrifugal force radially away from the center. What is the cause of this ...
9
votes
2answers
944 views

Dynamics of counter-rotating flywheels

I've wondered about this for ages. If we create a pair of flywheels that rotate in the opposite direction with the same angular momentum, but are co-located and have the same mass and inertial moment ...
9
votes
4answers
988 views

Shape of rotating rope (lasso problem?)

Let's take a wire or a rope. I usually do this with a chain or my scarf. I fixate one end in my hand and apply rotation (by subtle movements of this endpoint like spinning a lasso). The rope gets ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Are there planets that do not rotate on their axis?

I was reading a thread about how a pendulum would be affected if the Earth did not rotate and Larian's answer made me wonder if all planets rotate necessarily due to physics. So that's the question: ...
8
votes
4answers
795 views

Why does a ping pong ball change direction when I spin it on a table?

When I spin a ping pong ball on the table, it rolls forward in the opposite direction of the spin, and then eventually changes direction and rolls backward. Here's a video demonstrating the effect. ...
8
votes
4answers
633 views

Is it correct that tires quickly get bald when used at high speed?

In my investigation, tires will quickly get bald if we ride a motorcycle at high speed. Is it correct? How to explain it in physics? Does the friction increase at high speed rotation? Update: The ...
7
votes
3answers
500 views

Can one make a ball rotate around a vertical axis using only a combination of horizontal axis rotations?

This is a nice problem that I would like to share. Problem: In a public garden, there a statue consisting of a spherical stone and a stone cup. The ball is 1 meter in diameter and weighs at least a ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How to calculate roll, yaw and pitch angles from 3D co-ordinates (Euler Angles)

I have digitized a video of a flying fly in a 3-dimensional space. At all instants I know the x, y, and z co-oridinates of the following points on the fly's body --- The points are my choice, and ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How long was a day at the creation of earth?

Since the earth is slowing its rotation, and as far as I know, each day is 1 second longer every about 1.5 years, how long was an earth day near the formation of earth (4.5 billion years ago)? I ...
6
votes
3answers
239 views

What frame(s) of reference are used to measure the rotation of the Sun around the galaxy ?

I can find various speeds and estimated durations listed at numerous places but none specifically describe the frame of reference. Possible options as example of kind of answer I expect. Local ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

What is the proof that a force applied on a rigid body will cause it to rotate around its center of mass?

Say I have a rigid body in space. I've read that if I during some short time interval apply a force on the body at some point which is not in line with the center of mass, it would start rotating ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Video of Earth spinning?

If the Earth is spinning or rotating at a really fast speed, why haven't we seen any videos from space of it spinning when we get a lot of photos of it?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

What does “clockwise” mean, exactly? [closed]

I am in the middle of a discussion with a friend about the meaning of the term "clockwise". Wikipedia indicates that a clockwise rotation goes as top-right-down-left. However, my friend argues that ...
5
votes
5answers
264 views

Tensors and rotations

All the tensors that I have studied so far have always appeared with some kind of rotation. For example, spherical tensors rotate as spherical harmonics, tensors in the context of special relativity ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the wheel of a car appear to be moving in opposite direction?

When a car is about to stop, the speed of its wheel reduces. Why do we see or feel that the wheel of the car is moving in the opposite direction? This can also be observed of a fan at home. So why ...
5
votes
2answers
523 views

How to derive relation for time derivative in a rotating reference frame

I am looking for an appropriate derivation of the $(\frac{d}{dt})_{\text{laboratory}} = (\frac{d}{dt})_{\text{rotating}} + \omega \times $ relationship that enables one to calculate all desired ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Pauli matrix rotations

When doing physics with two-level systems and introducing rotations, a term that appears quite often is the rotation of a Pauli matrix by another one: $$e^{- i \sigma_j \theta/2} \sigma_k e^{i ...
5
votes
5answers
205 views

Can a ultracentrifuge be used to test general relativity?

With today's ultracentrifuge technology, they can spin so fast that the sample can be subjected to accelerations of up to 2 millions Gs. That is equivalent to two solar masses. Has someone tried to ...
5
votes
3answers
77 views

What happens inside a body when it rotates?

I'm studying rigid body dynamics lately. I came across the definition of torque, and though I've found a lot of explanations as to why there is an r there (the moment), all of them are mathematical ...
5
votes
2answers
328 views

Row of pivoted magnets and energy scale

This question is about a system involving a horizontal row of length L of equally spaced pivotable magnets, each with a pole at either end. These magnets will often be referred to as units. So each ...
5
votes
2answers
432 views

Equivalent Rotation using Baker-Campbell-Hausdorff relation

Is there a way in which one can use the BCH relation to find the equivalent angle and the axis for two rotations? I am aware that one can do it in a precise way using Euler Angles but I was wondering ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

Do Baryons have Quantized Vibrational and Rotational States?

Given that baryons are not point particles but are composed of three quarks, are there quantized vibrational and rotational states analogous to those of molecules? If not why not, and if so are ...
4
votes
1answer
722 views

Does the Earth rotate vertically too?

We know that the earth has seen several Ice Ages. And we know the Earth's magnetic poles seem to flip once in a while. Could all of this be explained by a once every 250 Million Years or so the ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Two axes for rotational motion

I understand that angular momentum is a vector, etc.. But, what really happens when some object, say a ball for example, is set to rotate along two axes? What would the resulting motion look like?
4
votes
2answers
686 views

What is the formal definition of a stellar day?

I'm having trouble understanding precisely what a stellar day is. Neither the USNO nor the IERS sites provide a definition. And Wikipedia's description as the "rotation period relative to the fixed ...
4
votes
2answers
165 views

Would the arms of a rotating ice skater still move outwards if there was no other object in the universe?

If there is no other object in the universe apart from a rotating ice skater, then nothing can be used as a reference frame. Would it make any sense to say that the skater is rotating? If so, rotating ...
4
votes
1answer
724 views

Is all angular momentum quantized?

Angular momentum is definitely quantized in elementary particles and electrons in atoms. Molecules also have characteristic rotation spectra. Is it true that all angular momentum is quantized, ...
4
votes
1answer
311 views

Does total angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system include individual rotational angular momenta?

To calculate the angular momentum of a body we need to specify a point (or an axis?) from which to define the displacement vector $\vec{r}$, so that $\vec{L} = \vec{r} \times \vec{p}$. For a rigid ...
4
votes
1answer
862 views

What is the spin rotation operator for spin > 1/2?

For spin $\frac{1}{2}$, the spin rotation operator $R_\alpha(\textbf{n})=\exp(-i\frac{\alpha}{2}\vec{\sigma}\cdot\textbf{n})$ has a simple form: ...
4
votes
2answers
751 views

How can I cause a levitating magnet to rotate?

I have a device like this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kA_hw_lY-OY (All of them work the same) Here's an image: I want to make it spin without touching it with hands. I tried using magnets ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Can a minimum ultimate tensile strength (UTS) for an asteroid be established based on its diameter and rotation?

I found it fascinating that many asteroids rotate with a period of just seconds. For this fast of a rotation on this size of object, I thought that would actually cause significant acceleration on the ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

Tensors of rotations about an arbitrary vector in C^2

I'm trying to solve the following equation: $$e^{-i\theta/2 \sigma_{\vec{i}}^A} \otimes e^{-i\theta/2 \sigma_{\vec{i}}^B} |\Psi\rangle_{AB} = e^{i\phi} |\Psi\rangle_{AB} $$ where $e^{i\phi}$ should ...
4
votes
3answers
108 views

Forces on objects orbiting a black hole?

Firstly, please excuse my elementary knowledge and lack of eloquence when writing about astrophysics. I am a dentist, who occasionally thinks about the how the universe works. I'm both fascinated and ...
4
votes
2answers
367 views

Why do gyroscopes not maintain their stability as seen in this video

What exactly causes gyroscopes to oscillate as seen in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdAmEEAiJWo Even when my toy gyroscope spins on Earth, I get oscillations. Is this a result of ...
3
votes
2answers
81 views

Confusion with rotation operator definition in Shankar

In Shankar quantum mechanics on page 306-307 it has the following: 12.2. Rotations in Two Dimensions Classically, the effect of a rotation $\phi_0\mathbf{k}$, i.e., by an angle $\phi_0$ about ...
3
votes
3answers
439 views

Rotational speed of a discus

I was wondering whether the rotational speed of a discus has any influence on the flight of the discus. Would slowing the rotation or speeding it up change the trajectory in any way or would the ...