Naked Science Forum

General Science => General Science => Topic started by: sigma 1 on 23/02/2021 21:12:25

Title: Why does my spinning top wander around on a surface?
Post by: sigma 1 on 23/02/2021 21:12:25
Iíve got a foreverspin spinning top, and it does spin a long time. What Iíve found is that on a flat surface, when I spin it going clockwise, it always wanders south. Counter clockwise it wanders north, every time. So, may be something everyone knows, that yeah, thatís just how it works. But couldnít find an explanation based on searches, so thought Iíd toss it out here. So, is it earth's magnetic influence, earth's spin, possessed top?
Title: Re: Why does my spinning top wander around on a surface?
Post by: Zer0 on 20/03/2021 19:58:57
Hi @sigma 1

Hmm...spinning top changing directions.
But directions always remain constant.
Hence, it's my guess that it must be dragging & pulling itself on the floor...just like an automobile rubber tyre rotating horizontally...makes sense?
(That's how a NewBee answers)

Now...You want a SmartyPants explanation...then here it goes...
" A rapidly spinning top will precess in a direction determined by the torque exerted by its weight. The precession angular velocity is inversely proportional to the spin angular velocity, so that the precession is faster and more pronounced as the top slows down. "
Lol...yeaah, i know!

P.S. - A top that spins for a very veerrry loooong time Cannot be defined as a Forever spinning top.
(But what if You spun it in deep space???)