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Dzhanibekov effect

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Wow. As a kid we used to make spinning tops at my father's electronics lab, because he had lots of scrap equipment and tools to play with. We never knew why a perfectly good spinning top would completely flip over and keep spinning on the other side after a small wobble that didn't appear to change the center of gravity. Kinetic forces tied to angular momentum were a bit beyond me.

I do remember our best model was a very large solid metal plate about three feet across, with a small 'bb' or ball bearing that we soldered to its exact center. We would then spin the plate with only the ball bearing touching the polished marble floor, and it could spin for nearly an hour. (And no chance of it flipping over.)

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