Various Spinning TOPics
Should an article or website deserve a place on this page, please let us know and we'll be sure to include it.
History of Spinning Tops
Spinning Top History
A very brief (two-pages) handout on the origins and development of the spinning top.
Physics of Spinning Tops
There are already enough experts on the physics of spinning tops, so rather than try to explain here with maths and diagrams, I have selected a (hopefully comprehensive) set of links with explanations of what each site provides to save you the effort of searching for the best ones, plus a collection of articles/papers I found most interesting.
All links on this page open to a new browser tab/window.
Hyperphysics - Precession of a Spinning Top
Ever wonder why a top seems to spin perfectly straight, but begins to wobble and wander as it slows down? Hyperphysics provides an explanation along with supporting diagrams and math.
Spinning Tops, Gyroscopes and Rattlebacks by Rod Cross (2017)
Rob writes about the unusual tippie-top type spinning tops and how torque underlies the effect. Well... all spinning tops, for that matter.
Spinning Top Physics Videos
The best of several YouTube video links explaining how spinning tops work. Ok, perhaps not the best, but definitely involved. The first from Michael Hearns goes to town on the math and gets into simulations. Frankly, I'm technical, and even I found this a little too involved.
Spinning Tops - Rotational Kinetic Energy
This lecture is interesting for those who want to determine the final speed of their top given a force pulling on a string and the distance pulled.
The Rise and Fall of Spinning Tops
This paper describes precessional patterns and delves into the double-precession nature of the "tippie" top. Written by Rod Cross.
How to Spin (or throw) a Spinning Top
Strictly relating to the finger-twist variety, this video shows you how to spin your spinning top without flinging it across the room and smashing your wife's favorite crystal figurines.
VIDEO COMING SOON
The Tao of Top Spinning - Discussion Forum
A spinning tops forum geared toward spintops of the wind-and-pull-the-string variety. Lots of content on tops and top throwing techqnies. This forum is operated by George Alcoz. Thanks for the link, George!
Facebook - Pocket Top Talk
This forum has been around for some time and started with top-making artisans getting together to discuss their creations, show them off, and even promote them to others. It grew from just over 100 members when I joined to well over six-thousand now. That's a lot of spinning top talk!
These guys make some exquisite products, and I am proud to say that many of them enjoy and appreciate their Spinny-Doos.
(Note: It's a private club, but send a note to the the moderator Faisal Yamin and he'll be sure to let you join.)
Facebook - Pocket Top Sales
This forum started when Pocket Top Talk forum participants realized that a separate forum was needed to promote (sell) their products. This forum also (at the time of this writing) has more than five thousand members.
More to come.