Welcome to the Spin Lab, where we ask questions about spinning, play games and simulations on spinning, and even win prizes that have to do with spinning. Nobody likes to read lab manuals, but there're a lot of things to do here, so you'll have a lot more fun if you actually know what's going on!
There's more on what makes things spin and keep on spinning in Dr. Leila's second article on spinning. It has to do with conservation of momentum, and there are fun things you can do at home to experience this first hand.
Does the video give you any ideas? Do you think using jelly beans and a record player was a good idea?
It might help to get a little technical about angular momentum and rotational inertia. Check out Dr. Leila's article on these two serious-sounding terms. If you're in the mood for some serious geek notes, this is what Richard Feynman, a Nobel Prize Winner in Physics had to say.
This is the ice skater doll that is on the floor of the lab. Click on it to go to the simulation.
Your goal is to make the skater spin as fast as possible. Go for an Olympic Medal!
To play, drag the colored dots on the skater (on the left-hand side of
your screen) to move her limbs. Watch the right-hand image carefully to
see how this affects her speed in competition (the judges in the back
will rank her performance). Be careful -- if you move her into unstable positions, she'll fall!
When you have the fastest skater you can make, write down the Secret
Code number and click "QUIT" to come back into the lab. When you enter your Secret Code into the Data Machine, you just might
get a prize!
For more instructions on the Skater Simulation, look for the "Click here for instructions" link underneath the simulation ap
Play this game by clicking on the skewered nose on the floor of the lab. There are 5 objects for you to play with. Your goal is to skewer each object in the direction that will make it spin the fastest. There's a clock to beat, so don't waste any time!
When you've worked your way through all 5 objects, be sure you write down the Secret Code and click "QUIT" to come back into the lab. Enter the Secret Code into the Data Machine, together with your thoughts and observations, and hold your breath to see if you win a prize.
For more instructions for the Spin It! game, look for the "Click here for instructions " link underneath the applet.