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Spinning to a Rolling Stop

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Author:Ivars Peterson (MathTrek)
Description: The underlying mathematics of spinning disks. Spin a coin on a tabletop. As it loses energy and tips toward the surface, the coin begins to roll on its rim, wobbling faster and faster. Toward the end, the coin generates a characteristic rattling sound of rapidly increasing frequency until it suddenly stops with a distinctive shudder. Mathematician H. Keith Moffatt has come up with an explanation of why this motion ends so abruptly instead of lingering as the coin keeps on rolling faster...

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Problems/Puzzles, Articles
Math Topics: Fluid Mechanics

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