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!

Why a spinning top won't fall to the ground?

  1. May 2, 2009 #1
    Why a spinning top won't fall to the ground?
    yes I know this question must have been asked before right? tried looking for it on here but I couldn't find it.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2009 #2
    I believe it's because of the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gyroscopic_Motion" [Broken].

    The following is a purely intuitive, non-technical description.

    When something is rotating in one direction, and you try to rotate it in another direction, it actually tries to move in a completely different direction. So, when the top is spinning about the Z-axis, and it starts to fall over (rotate about the Y-axis), some of that rotation ends up going about the X-axis instead. Because this rotational "falling" does not all go in the same direction, it can't "add up" and fall over as easily.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Why a spinning top won't fall to the ground?
  1. Spinning Tops (Replies: 8)

  2. Spinning top (Replies: 3)

Loading...