Purpose:Illustrate how a rigid rod topples on a frictionless surface.
Description:A wooden dowel with its center of mass marked is held vertically with the bottom end supported by a very light air table puck. When it is released and allowed to topple, which point of the stick will be directly above the original support point: the top end, the bottom end, or the center of mass? Note that the stick has a small counterweight on its top end to compensate for the mass of the puck. Click your mouse on the photograph for an mpeg video.