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Department of Industrial & Mechanical

Experimental Investigation of the dynamics of a spinning rigid body under horizontal fast excitation

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Abstract

The spinning top is a classic paradigm for illustrating gyroscopic effects, the understanding of which is essential for numerous technological applications such as inertial sensors for navigation and spacecraft attitude control. It is predicted through the analytical study of the mathematical model that a spinning top under fast horizontal excitation will exhibit non-trivial solutions in which the top is locked at a constant tilt angle without any precessional motion. This suggests that the attitude of a spinning rigid body can be controlled through a mere fast vibration of its pivot point. The aim of this project is to experimentally test this theoretical prediction and, along the way, to investigate the effect of dissipative frictional effects that are not captured by the idealized theoretical model. The project will entail the design and building of the required table-top experimental setup and the implementation of the relevant experiments.

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