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ERIC Number: EJ1032825
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
The Sakai Spinner: A Paperclip Top
Corrao, Christian T.
Physics Teacher, v52 n2 p122-123 Feb 2014
A challenge: Can you create a stable top from a single paper clip? Several interesting solutions to this problem were provided by Takao Sakai from Japan, the requirement of each being that the center of gravity be located on the vertical y-axis at the center of the top. In the simplest configuration, we see that there exists a single angle ? between the spokes for which this requirement is met (Figs. 1 and 2). While a rigorous calculation of this angle is a nice task for first-year university students, one simple approximation allows for a more high school-ready analysis. Even a qualitative study without any math makes for interesting and fun science.
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: Secondary Education; High Schools; Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A