Experiment Mu-06

Instantaneous Axis

Description: A bicycle wheel is pivoted at the center of mass so no gravitational torque can be applied.  The motion of the system should start with the instantaneous axis along the axis of symmetry.  The spinning wheel is given an angular impulse at right angles to the original angular momentum in order to change the direction of the angular momentum.  The magnitude of the angular momentum remains constant, so the instantaneous axis moves around the axle of the bicycle wheel.


When at rest, the bicycle wheel is still and rests on the vertical bar.


When the bicycle wheel is in motion, it 'stands' on its own.



Materials: Bicycle wheel, vertical rod


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This page was last updated on Friday August 15, 2008 8:37 PM