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$8.50 $6.45 excl. GST
This little oddity has a natural spin bias, in that if you spin it one way it stops and then spins the other way!
Why? Check out its centre of balance. Being clear and curved it also acts as a lens that magnifies vertically.
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The rattleback is a scientific toy that has captured the attention of all ages for years.
If you spin the rattleback one direction, it proceeds for a little while and then it will stop and then spin the other direction!
More strangely, if you spin the rattleback the other way it will not show this effect.
First discovered by archaeologists investigating Celtic and Egyptian dig sites, rattlebacks have since been the subject of studies of how things move by physicists and mathematicians. For such a simple science toy, there is a lot going on here!
At first glance, the rattleback toy appears to break the law of conservation of angular momentum. However, when you look closely at the rattleback you’ll note some properties that contribute to the spin-reversal effect that you see:
The asymmetries in the rattleback cause mass differences which in turn affect the rattleback’s centre of balance.
If you’d like a more detailed analysis of the mathematics, check out Keith Moffatt’s lecture slides from Cambridge University.
This science toy is part of a range of science toys, kits & teaching aids for teaching about forces for schools and in the home. Use for engaging science at home or in the classroom!
Find out more about the Forces, Friction & Movement School Incursion
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On behalf of the Powerhouse Discovery Center, Castle Hill, I would like to thank you for contributing to our April School Holiday Program: Stories from the Far East. Your Kite Flight Physics workshop was a wonderful addition to the program! We thank you for your time, support and commitment and will see you again soon.
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