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The Physics Behind Fidget Spinners



Understanding the physics behind rotational motion can be very challenging and is usually a unit I have to spend more time on to be able to comprehend. But fidget spinners on the other hand are super simple! So I figured why not try to understand something complicated with something a little more basic. One topic about rotational motion that is used a lot when talking about a car breaking is the difference between sliding friction and rolling friction. Rolling friction is much smaller in value than sliding friction, so it is important to take into consideration whether a car is rolling or sliding in certain physics problems. Fidget spinners can be used to demonstrate this difference. Cheap fidget spinners that do not have ball bearings in the center spin for maybe a couple seconds before stopping. But high quality spinners with ball bearings can spin for much longer time periods. In an article from Fatherly.com titled "Fidget Spinner Physics and Rolling Friction Explained" it says that rolling friction is "far weaker than run-of-the-mill sliding friction because the surface of contact between the ball and the floor is relatively insignificant." To read more on this visit https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/fidget-spinner-physics-explainer-rolling-friction/.

And because it's fun to watch, I included a video from Dude Perfect with Fidget Spinner Trick Shots. Enjoy!



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