Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2015

Department

Physics

Language

English

Publication Title

American Journal of Physics

Abstract

We discuss a project on rigid-body motion that is appropriate for students in an upper-division course in classical mechanics. We analyze the motion of Hurricane Balls, two spheres that are welded (or glued) together so they act as a single object that can be spun like a top. The steady-state motion consists of purely rotational motion about the center of mass, such that only one ball is in contact with the table as it rolls without slipping. We give a qualitative explanation for why one ball rises into the air, and we theoretically analyze the system using multiple approaches. We also perform a high-speed video analysis to obtain experimental data on how the orientation depends on the spin rate, and find agreement within a few percent of the theory.

Comments

This published version is made available on Dickinson Scholar with the permission of the publisher. For more information on the published version, visit American Association of Physics Teacher's Website.

© 2015 American Association of Physics Teachers

DOI

10.1119/1.4930087

Included in

Physics Commons

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