A tag for questions about the mechanical interactions of rotating objects, including torque and angular momentum.

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9
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3answers
853 views

How fast do you have to spin an egg to have it standing?

If you take a hardboiled egg and put it on a table and start to spin it, if you spin it fast enough it will start to spin in an upright position. What is the angular velocity needed for this ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What makes a wrist-energized gyroscope rotate faster?

I'm considering a wrist-energized gyroscope, shown below (after my daughter let it fall and it broke open). That one was sold as Roller Ball, but variants are known as Powerball, DynaBee, Dynaball, ...
8
votes
5answers
30k views

Why does a ballerina speed up when she pulls in her arms?

My friend thinks it's because she has less air resistance but I'm not sure.
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Huge buildings affect Earth's rotation?

Does constructing huge buildings affect the rotation of the Earth, similar to skater whose angular rotation increases when her arms are closed comparatively than open?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Paradox in applying Newton's second law [duplicate]

Suppose I apply two vertical but opposite forces with the same magnitude in a body like is shown in the picture: According to newton's second law, the center of mass shouldn't accelerate, since the ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What determines whether a pool ball will bouce backwards after colliding with another pool ball?

I'm no knowledgeable pool player, but I've noticed that sometimes when the cue ball hits another pool ball, they roll together; and sometimes the cue ball bounces back. And I have a very, very rough ...
8
votes
6answers
2k views

Why does a car engine not do work if the wheels don't slip?

I saw this mind boggling result that if the tires don't slip then the work done by an engine to move a car is zero. Why is this true? Moreover, what does this truly mean? Update: Sorry about not ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Where does the kinetic energy go?

A uniform cylinder was placed on a frictionless bearing and set to rotate about its vertical axis. After a cylinder has reached a specific state of rotation it is heated without any mechanical support ...
8
votes
2answers
185 views

How to design a deliberately biased coin?

For demonstrating basic probability concepts, it would be nice to have a coin-like object that lands heads/tails not in 50/50% ratio, but biased in a way that can be revealed in a short experiment. ...
8
votes
2answers
648 views

rotational oblateness

I am trying to compute the amount of oblateness that is caused by planetary rotation. I picture the force of gravity added to the centrifugal force caused by the rotation of the planet as follows: $\...
7
votes
4answers
488 views

Earth's Kinetic energy change

Earth's rotational speed varies. I have checked the data an found following Peaks; Year 1998, 23.May, the Earth rotated in 86400.0023738 seconds. At 9.July the rotation time of the Earth was 86400....
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Rotation of a slipping ladder

Imagine a ladder leaning against a wall. All surfaces are smooth. Hence the ladder will slip and fall. While falling it rotates because there are external torques acting on it. My question is about ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are infinitesimal rotations commutative, whereas finite rotations are not?

Infinitesimal rotations commute and every finite rotation is the composition of infinitesimal rotations which should logically mean they also commute; but they don't. Why?
7
votes
2answers
480 views

Does rotational energy have effect on gravity/metric?

Intuitively, if energy can be stored in rotational motion, it has to obey $E=mc^2$. Does rotation of typical stellar-sized objects - BHs, pulsars, binaries - have measurable effect on their overall ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

Which direction will the yoyo move?

This question has been around the net for a while, and I haven't seen a good explanation for it: A yo-yo is initially at rest on a horizontal surface. A string is pulled in the direction shown in ...
7
votes
3answers
635 views

Do the rings in Mass Effect's mass relays (2-axis gimbal) describe a stable rotation?

Just out of curiosity. In the game Mass Effect, devices called mass relays contain two rotating rings, one inside of the other. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPxw5QjxhIs for an example, best seen ...
7
votes
3answers
531 views

Moment of Inertia, why $r^2$and not $r$?

So my engineering mechanics book includes a brief discussion on area moments of inertia. Unfortunately, the ensuing chapter is predominately computational in nature. I don't have a thorough grasp of ...
7
votes
3answers
850 views

Why don't we talk about angular momentum at all in fluid mechanics?

People usually talk about similar (or maybe not?) things like vorticity or enstrophy in fluid mechanics, but no one talks about angular momentum, why?
7
votes
1answer
178 views

Without using rotational mechanics, why does a gyroscope precess the direction it does?

When a top is spun, it will precess in some direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise. It's possible to find out which way using $\boldsymbol{\tau} = d\mathbf{L}/dt$ and $\boldsymbol{\tau} = \...
7
votes
3answers
503 views

What is the origin of spin of celestial objects?

In an older question from June 2011, Why does each celestial object spin on its own axis?, apparently revived by the system, a user is asking about the origin of the rotation of celestial bodies. The ...
7
votes
1answer
951 views

Why do wheels appear to revolve opposite to the direction they are rotating?

When viewing cars that are driving along side of us, sometimes their wheels appear to be turning backwards even though they are traveling in the same direction as our car. Why do they look that way?
7
votes
1answer
337 views

Intuitive Explanation of Tippe Top Effect?

A friend showed me a tippe top (a special kind of spinning top) lately and asked me about the physics behind it. I thought about it for a while but cannot quite figure it out. So I will throw the ...
7
votes
0answers
71 views

Spinning a rope when hanging, what is the curve? [duplicate]

Holding a rope from one end and spinning it. As shown in the picture, what will be the curve of it?
6
votes
2answers
573 views

Does a rotating disk develop a potential difference between the centre and rim?

This stems from thinking about the question If a perfect conductor where to move what happens to the electrons?. Suppose we have a rotating disk with no external magnetic field, so this is not a ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Conservation of angular momentum for a rigid body rotating about a fixed point

Picture a rigid body such as a sledge hammer. Imagine that the base of the handle is attached to a fixed point such that it can rotate but not translate. I give the hammer a good push to get it ...
6
votes
1answer
244 views

Terminal velocity?

I am having a problem with a particular concept. Here is where I have gotten, since the ball never loses contact with the stair, it will rotate around through the edges, the edges being the pivot, (...
6
votes
2answers
136 views

Equations of Motion of a Physical Pendulum [closed]

I would like to formulate the equations of motion of a particular type of physical pendulum, shown in the attached figure. The physical pendulum consists of a wheel rolling on a narrow board. A ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Optimal size for a bike tire

While I was riding my bike funnily enough I wondered if there was an optimal size for a bike wheel. So I suppose that is my question, What is the optimal size for a bike wheel? If the bike accelarates ...
6
votes
1answer
724 views

Rod slipping against block due to gravity? [closed]

A uniform rod of mass $m$ and length $l$ is pivoted at point O. The rod is initially in vertical position and touching a block of mass M which is at rest on a horizontal surface. The rod is given a ...
6
votes
1answer
223 views

Distance a curveball travels?

I've seen some discussions regarding the movement of a spinning object, say a curveball. However, all have been largely qualitative. I was wondering if anyone has seen or worked through a ...
6
votes
1answer
748 views

Spin-up time for fluid in an open cylinder with no endwalls?

I'm interested in how quickly (if at all) the fluid in an open cylinder would reach solid-body rotation if the cylinder is suspended vertically in an unbounded fluid. I've found plenty of work that ...
6
votes
0answers
72 views

How can I approximate Jacobian Elliptic Functions in terms of basic integrable functions for the SO(3) rotation of a rigid body?

So, the rotation of a 3d body can be described with Euler's equations of motion giving the rotational velocity in components along the principal axes of inertia. As showed in f.ex. this paper, ...
6
votes
0answers
64 views

Why is this handle flipping back and forth? [duplicate]

This gif of some kind of handle being spun in zero gravity has been doing the rounds: Why is it flipping back and forth? It seems odd that it flips, then seems to rotate around one axis in a ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Disk spinning at the speed of light [duplicate]

Of course, I mean that the edge of the disk is traveling at the speed of light. This is a question that popped into my head a few years ago when I was learning about some basic relativity in high ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Why does the Earth rotate? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does every thing spin? So why would the Earth, or any planet for that matter, rotate along an axis? I know of no force which could come into play here, so i assume it ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Has a body angular momentum and torque only in a circular path?

In different contexts, my book(Principles of Physics by Resnick, Halliday ,Walker) , they wrote For torque, the path need no longer be a circle and we must write the torque as a vector $\vec{\tau}...
5
votes
3answers
13k views

Direction of rotation of a celing fan

From Constellation Energy Quick energy efficiency tip: To stay cool and manage your energy at the same time, use ceiling fans to create a “wind chill” in rooms you are using. The wind chill ...
5
votes
1answer
299 views

Heat engines and “Angular momentum” engines?

We know that the theory of heat engines is that, if you accept the second law of thermodynamics, $\Delta S > 0$ then you can define temperature using $\frac{1}{T} = \frac{\partial S}{\partial E}$ ...
5
votes
2answers
520 views

Does a tire need to slip to generate force?

Recently, I have been doing some research on racing and tire modelling. While I was doing this, I encountered many curves like those shown below. While I understand the need of slip angles to ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Torque direction meaning

I apologize if this question is dumb, but I've looked all over for a straightforward answer and either I can't find one or the terms are too complex for me to understand. I have only a rudimentary ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

confused about ball rolling and rotational energy

I was solving a practice test problem and it was just a conservation of energy problem where a spherical ball is falls from a height h to the ground such that $$mgh = \frac{1}{2}mv^2 + \frac{1}{2}I\...
5
votes
5answers
728 views

How is Angular Momentum Conserved when Mass is Released?

I am not a physicist (math/comp-sci) but I understand that Angular Momentum is supposed to be conserved. I find this confusing because there seems to be many simple, common cases where a restrained, ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is less force required to open a door when we apply a force at a greater distance from the hinge?

I know that the magnitude of a torque increases with the distance from the axis of rotation. What is the reason of that : how can a force exert a greater torque when the force is applied at a ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Elementary derivation of the motion equations for an inverted pendulum on a cart

Consider a cart of mass $M$ constrained to move on the horizontal axis. A massless rod is attached to the midpoint of the cart, having a mass $m$ on its endpoint. See wikipedia for a picture and for a ...
5
votes
1answer
394 views

Why are three parameters required to express rotation in 3 dimension?

We know that in spherical coordinates angle $\theta$ and $\phi$ (two angles)are enough to express three dimensional rotation of matrix. But to express rotation mathematically as a transformation ...
5
votes
2answers
995 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
3answers
3k views

Which is the axis of rotation?

This should be simple, but it keeps bothering me. If a rigid body has no fixed axis, and a torque (defined relative to a point $A$) is applied, it will rotate around $A$. But often I can also ...
5
votes
3answers
887 views

How can I relate linear and angular motion using a single formula?

I want to relate linear and angular motion using a single formula. Assume I have a 10m rod, and I apply a force of 5N on it, 2.5m away from the axis of rotation for 1s. How can I determine the ...
5
votes
3answers
254 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
3answers
636 views

Thrust center in space

I have this dilemma: Suppose you have a space ship somewhere in deep space, where there is no drag force or substantial gravity. If the ship has a single engine situated in such a way that the center ...