Spinning Top

picture of a spinning top

The spinning top, like the kind seen in the movie Inception, is a fascinating toy. When you spin it at high speed, it is able to stand up vertically without falling over, as the video shows.

Check out a video of a spinning top:



The reason that a spinning top can resist falling over is difficult to explain fully. But basically, the spinning action creates a gyroscopic force which keeps the top from falling over. If the top stops spinning, the force disappears and the top falls over.

The top can spin for quite a long time, before it has slowed down enough due to friction so that it falls over.



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