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Playing with Tops

  1. Jun 29, 2003 #1
    I'm not sure what this behavior is technically called, but why do spinning tops (or anything else with some angular momentum) react to forces put on them 90 degrees later?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2003 #2
    "90 degrees later" I can't understand.
    I guess that the axis of rotating body moves in the direction perpendicular to the direction of the force exerted on the body. To analyze this problem, we need to calculate tedious equations of rotating solid body. I don't have time and patience enough to get the correct answer. Sorry!
  4. Jun 30, 2003 #3


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    It's called precession. It's hard to see how it works without math. Vector analysis in 3-D gives a sort of view of it, but to really get it you have to study six dimensional simplectic math.

    Three things are mysteries, yea three things I know not: the way of particles when entangled, the way of the universe when accelerated and the way of a top when forced.
  5. Jun 30, 2003 #4
    Is this a quote from anyone of consequence?

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