Why does a Lattoo slow down eventually?

Published

When you spin a top into motion, you apply a force that changes the potential (stored) energy in the top into kinetic energy, or motion energy. It revolves along an invisible vertical axis as it spins in its upright state. Friction, on the other hand, will eventually slow the top’s rotation.

Theory behind Lattoo Spinning

The spinning top may appear simple in comparison to newer toys. However, the scientific forces that make it such a fascinating toy provide a quick glimpse into complex physics. Indeed, a physicist would give you a fascinating — and lengthy — explanation of how a spinning top works. 

Let’s look at some of the basic forces that cause a top to spin without delving into complicated physics and maths. When you spin a top into motion, you apply a force that changes the potential (stored) energy in the top into kinetic energy, or motion energy.

It revolves along an invisible vertical axis as it spins in its upright state. If there were no other external forces acting on the top, the principle of conservation of angular momentum states that it would keep spinning eternally. 

That is not the case, however. There is no such thing as a perfectly balanced and weighted top. Furthermore, the surfaces on which they rotate aren’t precisely level. Other forces, such as friction and gravity, can play a role as a result of these flaws.

What causes tops to precess? 

The weight of the top generates a change in the angular momentum L in the direction of the torque induced by the normal force – Fg. The top begins to precess as a result of this.

Is the mass of a top related to how long it spins? 

When launched at the same speed, heavy tops spin for longer than light ones. The longer they spin, the faster they spin when launched. Momentum is defined as the combination of mass and speed. Momentum is defined as mass multiplied by speed.

What can I do to get my top to spin faster? 

To begin spinning the top, spin it as straight up and down as possible. Any deviation from a completely straight up and down will result in a faster loss of energy as the top will go in a circular pattern until it finds its balance. This causes the Schulte to slow down faster than it would if it were spinning in position.

How do you maintain the momentum of a spinning top? 

A top’s angular momentum must change from pointing vertically (up or down, depending on which direction it’s spinning) to pointing sideways in order for it to fall over. In a nutshell, tops stay upright because they violate angular momentum if they topple over.

Conclusion

A top balances on a little tip when it spins. This reduces the amount of friction created when it comes into touch with the surface beneath it. Friction, on the other hand, will eventually slow the top’s rotation. The top begins to wobble as a result of this, showing a scientific process known as precession.

The axis of the top tilts to the side as it begins to wobble, allowing the force of gravity to apply a torque on the top. The torque has the effect of producing more spin while also driving the top to precess (swing) outward. The top processes quicker as its spin slows, attempting to conserve its overall angular momentum. This is why, just before it falls and comes to a halt, the wobbling gets worse.