Thursday, September 18, 2003

Weird physics

Here's something I didn't know (or forgot) about classical mechanics: If you have an object like a book or board, it has 3 axes of rotation. The book can rotate like a disc or about an axis parallel to the spine (flip from side to side). But the book can't be flipped top to bottom. Try it. It always ends up rotating side to side at the same time.

Here are some other web pages that discuss this. It's at the bottom of both. The NASA page has quicktime movies.

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