Physics and Astronomy

Spinning Tops
Objective To construct a top which will continue to spin for the longest possible time.
Participants Each team will consist of one or two members. Only one student is permitted to start the top spinning.
Materials The top must be constructed from common household or hardware items. Gyroscopes or commercial tops are not permitted.

1. One student will set the top into rotation by hand twirling, by tossing, or by use of a pull. No other methods are permitted. No motorized devices or electromagnetic devices are permitted. Once the top Is Initially set into motion, no additional energy may be added to It.
2. The top must spin about a point on which It will not balance unsupported when it is not spinning.
3. A lathe cannot be used to machine the top.
4. All tops must spin on a vinyl/asbestos tile classroom floor.
5. No lubricant shall be applied to the floor or the top.

Judging 1. When the top is set into rotation, the time elapsed until it touches the surface with any part other than its point will be measured.
2. Each team will be given two trials, the better of the two will be scored.
3. The top which spins for the longest time will be awarded first place.
Source North East Ohio Science Olympics.

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