[FoRK] Dreidel loading?

Albert S. albert.scherbinsky
Tue Dec 27 20:34:40 PST 2005


See the section Torque-induced precession:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession

I think it may have something to do with the
precession of an unbalanced dreidel. I can imagine
that the dreidel would consistently fall over at the
same point in the precession of the dreidel explaining
the consistent results. The opposite direction of the
residual rotational motion at the time the dreidel
falls would explain the different results for
different spin directions.

--- Ken Meltsner <meltsner at alum.mit.edu> wrote:

> OK -- we played dreidel (a four-sided top labeled
> with 4 Hebrew
> letters) and one of the dreidels had an interesting
> bias: when spun
> clockwise, it came up with Nun and Shin, but when
> spun
> counter-clockwise, it almost always came up with
> Gimel.
> 
> We discovered this when our left-handed boy ended up
> winning
> everything in short order.
> 
> So, is there any explanation of this behavior?  I
> can imagine loading
> a dreidel by weighting one face, but I don't
> understand why spin
> direction mattered so much.
> 
> [I tried the loaded dreidel both ways, and its
> behavior was
> consistently biased for dozens of spins.  Which hand
> I used and the
> spot where it was spun didn't seem to matter.]
> 
> Ken Meltsner
> 
> --
> Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but model train
> sets do a pretty
> good job as well
> 
> -- 2/28/05, in a odd dream
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