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ERIC Number: EJ849839
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Can an Electron Rotate a Brick?
Bohren, Craig F.
Physics Teacher, v47 n1 p9-11 Jan 2009
In "The Theory of Almost Everything", Robert Oerter asserts the following: "Take a beam of electrons that are all spinning in the same direction and fire it at, say, a brick. If you could keep this up for long enough, and if there were no other forces acting on the brick, the electrons would transfer their rotation to the brick, and it would begin to rotate." Although this may awe credulous readers, skeptical physics students and their teachers ought to ask: Is it true that an electron can rotate a brick? To answer this requires bringing together elementary concepts from several areas of physics and doing the kind of back-of-the-envelope calculations students should be taught to do early on in their scientific education.
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: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A