1Q50.01 - Precession - Bicycle Wheels, Gyroscopes, and Tops
Do not drop the top off of the lecture bench. Put a couple of drops of oil on the top spindle every year.
Some oiling and adjustment of the bicycle axle may be required. Do not tighten the floor stand to tightly to the shaft of the bicycle wheel as this will prevent the free movement necessary.
It should be noted that the motor is only 12 volts and that we are using a Variac capable of 120 plus volts so that a voltmeter to monitor the voltage may be advisable. The motor driven demonstration also works best with a 100 or 200 gram mass.
The Tippy - Top, old fashion top, and the football will all act in the same manner. When spun the frictional torques will cause all of them to rotate about their statically unstable axis.
The Quark Top is a super precision top that should spin for upwards to 15 minutes if properly balanced.
Orbital precession can be demonstrated using one of the fiberglass cones.
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