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Conservation of Angular Momentum

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  • Conservation of Angular Momentum


    I am interested in the explanation for a demonstration lab of the
    conservation of angular momentum. I am sure most of the readers are
    familiar with this demonstration.

    Let me review it:

    A subject sits on the turntable and stool which are not rotating.
    The subject is handed a bicycle wheel oriented vertically (to
    ground). The bicycle wheel is spun -- now the system is the
    person, wheel and turntable. The subject and turntable are still
    not rotating, but the wheel is. The subject is asked to rotate
    the wheel in one direction or the other. The subject and
    turntable now begin to rotate more slowly in a direction opposite
    to the rotating wheel.

    The question which is usually asked: Why does the subject and
    rotating table rotate in a direction opposite to the wheel?

    This is the question I am asking this group.

    Thanks in advance for your responses.

    Donald H Sussman PHD
    Department of Exercise Science, PE & Recreation
    Old Dominion University
    HPE Building, Room 140
    Norfolk, VA 23529
    757-683-4995 (Secretary)
    757-683-3545 (Office)
    757-683-4270 (Fax) (e-mail)