Tuesday, 16 July 2013 12:58

D3-05 ROTATING CHAIR AND BICYCLE WHEEL

• ID Code: D3-05
• Purpose: Illustrates conservation of angular momentum
• Description:

Sit on the chair (chair not rotating) with the wheel spinning and its axis oriented vertically. Reverse the angular momentum vector of the wheel by inverting the wheel, thus causing the entire chair to rotate in the original direction of the wheel rotation. Returning the wheel to its initial orientation causes the chair to cease its rotation.

Because the friction in the bearing of the rotating chair is very low, several cycles of this procedure can usually be completed before the system loses its energy and stops.

Engagement Suggestions
• Consider inviting a participant from the class.
• Note that this demonstration can lead to sudden changes in motion. Be careful not to collide with your volunteer.

• Availability: Available
• Loc codes: FS0
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