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ERIC Number: EJ1025226
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Rocking and Rolling Rattlebacks
Cross, Rod
Physics Teacher, v51 n9 p544-545 Dec 2013
A rattleback is a well-known physics toy that has a preferred direction of rotation. If it is spun about a vertical axis in the "wrong" direction, it will slow down, start rocking from end to end, and then spin in the opposite (i.e. preferred) direction. Many articles have been written about rattlebacks. Some are highly mathematical and others are purely descriptive. It is surprising that there is still no simple physical explanation that can be given to a high school student and one that does not involve an obscure set of complicated equations.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A