# Questions tagged [rotation]

Circular motion about a central point or axis

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8answers
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### 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 ...
3answers
8k views

### Why wouldn't the part of the Earth facing the Sun a half year before be facing away from it now at noon?

The Earth takes 24 hours to spin around its own axis and 365 days to spin around the Sun. So in approximately half a year the Earth will have spun around its axis 182.5 times. Now take a look at the ...
4answers
5k 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 ...
8answers
15k 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 it'...
10answers
5k 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 ...
5answers
10k 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 ...
12answers
16k views

### How can the contact point of rolling body have zero velocity?

They say that for a rolling body, the velocity of the contact point is zero. I'm not getting this. How can it be zero when it's in continuous motion?
4answers
172k 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 ...
1answer
7k 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 that'...
2answers
3k views

### In counting degrees of freedom of a linear molecule, why is rotation about the axis not counted?

I was reading about the equipartition theorem and I got the following quotations from my books: A diatomic molecule like oxygen can rotate about two different axes. But rotation about the axis down ...
7answers
6k 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?
7answers
2k 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 ...
4answers
6k views

### Do electrons in an atom always have the same 'direction'?

Perhaps speaking of direction of an electron isn't quite correct. But does QM indicates a kind of way whether all electrons are going e.g. 'clockwise' or not? Of course QM just gives a probability ...
9answers
12k 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 ...
1answer
299 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 ...
7answers
1k views

### Does spin have anything to do with a rate of change?

The orbital angular momentum of a particle can be related to the revolution of that particle about some external axis. But in quantum mechanics, the spin angular momentum of a particle can't really ...
4answers
30k 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: ...
2answers
1k views

### Why does rotation occur? [closed]

So it sounds like a dumb question, as it is very intuitive why rotation occurs. However, can you give me a scientific explanation as to why whenever I exert a force on a body it tends to move, but ...
4answers
3k views

### How is Chasles' Theorem, that any rigid displacement can be produced by translating along a line and then rotating about the same line, true?

Chasles' Theorem in its strong form says: The most general rigid body displacement can be produced by a translation along a line (called its screw axis) followed (or preceded) by a rotation about ...
5answers
3k 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 ...
5answers
6k views

### Rotation vs translation

What is so fundamentally different between a rotation and a translation that one can be represented with a single n-vector and the other one needs an n-n matrix?
3answers
4k views

### Distance in relativistic circular motion in invariant spacetime

I understand that the closer something travels to the speed of light, that time will stretch by a factor, and distance will compress by the same factor. My question is, if something travels in a ...
2answers
2k 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?
2answers
5k 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 ...
7answers
6k 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 ...
3answers
754 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 ...
1answer
924 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. ...
4answers
2k views

### How to prove that any rotation can be represented by 3 Euler angles

How can one prove that any rotation of a rigid object in 3-dimensional (3D) space can be represented by a sequence of three rotations around pre-fixed axes by 3 Euler angles? I see this statement in ...
3answers
682 views

### Coupling between galaxy spin and central black hole spin

What is the relationship between the spin of a galaxy and the spin of its corresponding black hole? Associated questions: Do they always have the same axis of rotation? Do they always spin in the ...
2answers
943 views

### Why are the generators of rotation in the 4-dimensional Euclidean space correspond to rotations in a plane?

In three-dimensions, the rotation generators are represented by $J_1$, $J_2$ and $J_3$ where $1,2,3$ respectively stands for the generator of rotation about $x,y,z$ axes respectively. In general, in ...
5answers
18k 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 ...
7answers
6k views

### Simple Harmonic Motion - What are the units for $\omega_0$?

I'm trying to understand the units in: $$mx''+kx=0$$ And the general solution is $$x(t)=A \cos(\omega_0 t)+B \sin(\omega_0 t).$$ Let $\omega_0 =\sqrt{\frac{k}{m}}$ - the unit for the spring ...
3answers
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### How do you rotate spin of an electron?

I can't seem to connect these two stories. Can you please help? I have heard that you have to turn electron by 720 degrees in order to get the same spin state. Has this been seen experimentally? How ...
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4answers
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### 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 ...
3answers
4k views

### Does the Earth actually rotate around the sun? [duplicate]

Why does one say that the Earth rotates around the sun? There should be no preferred reference frame and from an observer on the sun, the sun will rotate around the Earth.
3answers
20k 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 "...
3answers
861 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 ...
4answers
2k views

### Will the sea form a concave surface?

Without neglecting the fact that the earth is rotating, let us be in a ship (such that there is no relative motion between sea and ship) in a sea that surrounds the northern most or southern most ...
1answer
8k 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 ...
2answers
2k 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. (source: insideracingtechnology.com) While I ...
4answers
10k 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?
3answers
1k views

### Why do things spin?

Let's say I have 2 boxes, one of mass M and one of mass 2M. They are separated by a distance of 1 meter. I drop them from the same height and see that due to the earth's gravity, they accelerate at ...
3answers
923 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 ...
3answers
2k 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 ...