1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What happens to the angular momentum?

  1. Apr 5, 2012 #1

    Apologies in advance if this is in the wrong section or if i have violated a particular rule. (First post).

    I don't have a great grasp of classical mechanics, and so some of the simple aspects are lost to me :P. So to the question.

    Taking an ice skater as an example (or any other spinning object), when the skater throws out his/her arms they will slow down and when they pull them in their angular velocity increases, as to conserve angular momentum. However, i was wondering what happens to the angular momentum when the skater stops spinning. (Or when a spinning top is at a stand still).

    I believed that frictional torque slows the object down (this is where my understanding of CM is lost). Angular momentum must always be conserved and so where does it go to when v=0.

    Thanks for any help :P.
    (Is it because angular momentum is only conserved in a closed system ?)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2012 #2

    Ken G

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It goes into the Earth, but the Earth doesn't care-- it has way more already.
  4. Apr 5, 2012 #3
    Oh wow, makes sense now XD. Feel like a fool now for missing something so obvious :P.

    Thank you for helping.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook