A drill is employed as a RD to induce precession (low frequency) or nutation (higher frequency). The RD needs to be set in motion at a high frequency before being brought close to the Levitron, to avoid destabilizing the equilibrium. The beam from a laser pointer reflects off the spignet upper surface to produce Lissajous-like traces.
Various laser traces. Top left: non-driven but gently precessing Levitron. Top right: strongly precessing top. Lower left: multiple loops for nutating fast top. Lower right: single loop for slow top.
Gently inclined Levitron experiment. A “V” made out of four slab magnets held at 7 cm from the Levitron (L) allows the spignet (S) to be levitated in the usual manner, but at inclination. The angle between the arms of the V is .
The strongly inclined Levitron experiment. The stacked puller (Pl) and stacked V are both mounted on a sheet of Perspex which is rotated a few degrees away from the Levitron base (L). A gentle bouncing sound is heard shortly before the spignet levitates. A pusher magnet (Ps) on the right hand side helps to increase the inclination angle up to .
First photograph of an inclined, spin stabilized, magnetic top ).
Stationary Levitron in a champagne glass.
Typical Levitron parameters and characteristic frequencies. The given frequencies are a compromise between theory and experiment. For any particular Levitron, expect values within about 15%.
Article metrics loading...
Full text loading...