The Rattleback (Wobblestone) Phenomenon


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A rattleback or wobblestone is an object with a smooth bottom that can be spun like a top. Unlike conventional tops, however, the rattleback has an asymmetry which gives it a preferred direction of spin. If spun in the opposite direction, it will begin to wobble, and then change the direction of its spin.

It would seem that if a spinning object changes the direction of its spin, it is defying the law of conservation of angular momentum, but apparently it is the rocking/wobbling motion that is converted into counter-rotational motion, not the initial rotation.

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Minnesotastan.

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The original spin is converted into the rocking/wobbling motion, which is then converted into the counterspin. I've seen these things given out to kids as party favors. Pretty cool.
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