1Q40.30 Bicycle Wheel and Rotating Stool
Conservation of angular momentum
A person at rest is standing on a low-friction platform or chair and holding a spinning wheel. If the person tilts the wheel, she or he will start rotating according to the law of conservation of angular momentum.
-  Wheel
-  Wheel spinner
-  Low-friction platform, chair, or stool
-  Extension cord
- Plug in the wheel spinner.
- Place the low-friction platform, chair, or stool in a clear spot.
- Level the chair, if applicable.
- Make sure the person demoing the wheel won't hit anything while rotating and has room to stumble off the platform if it is used.
- Get a volunteer onto the low-friction apparatus.
- Give her or him to hold the wheel with arms straight out.
- Spin up the wheel.
- Ask the volunteer to tilt the wheel. The volunteer should be rotating as a result. The most dramatic results occur when the axis of rotation is perpendicular to the ground, and the wheel flips over 180 degrees.
- PIRA 1Q40.30
- Don't attempt this at home!
If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.