The Bizarre Behavior of Rotating Bodies, Explained

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Spinning objects have strange instabilities known as The Dzhanibekov Effect or Tennis Racket Theorem - this video offers an intuitive explanation.
Part of this video was sponsored by LastPass, click here to find out more:
Prof. Terry Tao's Math Overflow Explanation:
The Twisting Tennis Racket
Ashbaugh, M.S., Chicone, C.C. & Cushman, R.H. J Dyn Diff Equat (1991) 3: 67.
Janibekov’s effect and the laws of mechanics
Petrov, A.G. & Volodin, S.E. Dokl. Phys. (2013) 58: 349.
Tumbling Asteroids
Prave et al.
The Exact Computation of the Free Rigid Body Motion and Its Use in Splitting Methods
SIAM J. Sci. Comput., 30(4), 2084-2112
E. Celledoni, F. Fassò, N. Säfström, and A. Zanna
Animations by Iván Tello and Isaac Frame
Special thanks to people who discussed this video with me:
Astronaut Don Pettit
Henry Reich of MinutePhysics
Grant Sanderson of 3blue1brown
Vert Dider (Russian SVfrom channel)
Below is a further discussion by Henry Reich that I think helps summarize why axes 1 and 3 are generally stable while axis 2 is not:
In general, you might imagine that because the object can rotate in a bunch of different directions, the components of energy and momentum could be free to change while keeping the total momentum constant.
However, in the case of axis 1, the kinetic energy is the highest possible for a given angular momentum, and in the case of axis 3, the kinetic energy is the lowest possible for a given angular momentum (which can be easily shown from conservation of energy and momentum equations, and is also fairly intuitive from the fact that kinetic energy is proportional to velocity squared, while momentum is proportional to velocity - so in the case of axis 1, the smaller masses will have to be spinning faster for a given momentum, and will thus have more energy, and vice versa for axis 3 where all the masses are spinning: the energy will be lowest). In fact, this is a strict inequality - if the energy is highest possible, there are no other possible combinations of momenta other than L2=L3=0, and vice versa for if the energy is the lowest possible.
Because of this, in the case of axis 1 the energy is so high that there simply aren't any other possible combinations of angular momentum components L1, L2 and L3 - the object would have to lose energy in order to spin differently. And in the case of axis 3, the energy is so low that there likewise is no way for the object to be rotating other than purely around axis 3 - it would have to gain energy. However, there's no such constraint for axis 2, since the energy is somewhere in between the min and max possible. This, together with the centrifugal effects, means that the components of momentum DO change.

The Killer
The Killer 2 timmar sedan
In the Quran...God says that at the End Of The Word ..the sun will be rises in the west 😳😳
Lorenzo Simeone
Lorenzo Simeone 21 timme sedan
Voglio cercare quello che ha tradotto in italiano e stringergli la mano
iluvprawns Dag sedan
8:00 thanks for the motion sickness 😵🤮
Michael Connor
Michael Connor Dag sedan
Wow, that actually made sense
Beau Thetford
Beau Thetford 2 dagar sedan
is there a baby in orbit to whom that bottle belongs?
Big Smoke
Big Smoke 3 dagar sedan
Why people now showing their face and talk in this kind of videos ? Just show those references. Quite annoying.
Tohru Bot
Tohru Bot 3 dagar sedan
Oh..., that’s why the bread always lands butter-side down.
Stefan Schleps
Stefan Schleps 3 dagar sedan
What ? Intuitive explanation my ass !
Pilot 301
Pilot 301 3 dagar sedan
Excellent! This has been driving me.. uh... Nuts.
Yuniko Yato
Yuniko Yato 4 dagar sedan
its humanly inpossible to extract and relocate the biggest mass of earth?
Next Up
Next Up 5 dagar sedan
So what happens to the earths rotation when the continents moved? What about when volcano's explode and the land mass extends outward from the center?
Scott Maday
Scott Maday 6 dagar sedan
Once again stack exchange proves to be invaluable towards answering humanities questions: from a compiler error to literally needing the smartest mathematician alive to answer and complicated problem thought impossible to explain.
Joe D
Joe D 7 dagar sedan
We all just flipped our phones
No Sound
No Sound 7 dagar sedan
oh so that's why discs thrown always flip
Władca Wymiaru
Władca Wymiaru 7 dagar sedan
This is appalling ...
ChaosSchnitzel 7 dagar sedan
I think i understood the princip in 15 seconds xD
Luke 8 dagar sedan
I had to write down the first principle axis of inertia during working in my engineering placement. I could not find the answer to if first has the highest or lowest MOI anywhere online. I had to come back to this damn good video, I knew it had the answer!
UpRealBug 8 dagar sedan
imagine declining a 8 mil youtuber. :D
Jhon Connor
Jhon Connor 8 dagar sedan
no hables mucho y haz el experimento en vacío absoluto con pleno conocimiento de los momentos de inercia , de lo contrario no expliques nada porque es según lo que CREES
New Tunes For Old Logos
New Tunes For Old Logos 8 dagar sedan
Scenario: super volcano erupts, lowers earths temperature by several degrees. Polar ice caps and glaciers grow at the poles. Many many megatons of water from the equator find themselves as ice at the poles. Where’s the axis of lowest inertia now? Earth flops on its side so the north and south poles are around the new equator. Then the increased solar energy melts the ice, and it flops back.
HEEDLESS [HATED] 8 dagar sedan
Just build more burge Khalifa if you wanna make some changes
HEEDLESS [HATED] 8 dagar sedan
We just learned one more thing
Nio-chan 9 dagar sedan
I asked my crush to do this and she happened to flip the phone without making it turn around, can yoy explain why?
bulasev 9 dagar sedan
WTH? I just watched 15 minutes of flipping things... And it was unmeasurably interesting. I swear this guy can read the phone book from a to z and I wouldn't miss a second of it.
ARUN SUBRAMANIAN 9 dagar sedan
Re-watching this video....Veritasium and Derek Muller has to be one of the best optimum scientific driven channels/persons respectively....each of the videos has just the right mix of content, humour and good editing without being too short/long..Also the topics selected are more of classical physics like rotation/gravity etc. and not the useless hi-fi stuff thrown to us...Great work.
Steven Winterhalter
Steven Winterhalter 9 dagar sedan
late to the party, but yeah, as a 90's kid the movie Waterworld was on VHS in our movie night cabinet. it was all based on some wingnut! thanks for explaining that. =-)
Charlene Woods
Charlene Woods 9 dagar sedan
Oh! so thats why my liquid filled bullets keep tumbling!
ılılıᴅᴇᴄɪʙᴇʟılılı 9 dagar sedan
This explaination is beautiful when you're actually learning this stuff in school... keeps me wanting to know more. Thanks Veritasium!!!
ılılıᴅᴇᴄɪʙᴇʟılılı 9 dagar sedan
@attic Slabs :)
attic Slabs
attic Slabs 9 dagar sedan
Never been a more deserving like to a comment on a video!
JP T 10 dagar sedan
Could it be that the diameter of earth is biggest at the equator because the spinning axis is, where it actually is?! So it's unclear what of both phenomena is the cause: The position of the axis puts most weight to the equator or the max weight at the equator makes the earth spin exactly around this axis.
Ahmed Alaa
Ahmed Alaa 10 dagar sedan
and then the sun would rise from the west and that's apocalypse ..
Himec CMS
Himec CMS 10 dagar sedan
Earth won't flip over? What if the ice cap melted?
Ionios 10 dagar sedan
When you think about it, this provides an incredible concept or viewpoint in regards to planetary terraforming. A class 1 society could artificially alter the rotation of a planet and it's positional axis by shifting the mass around on the planet. In theory you could create a garden planet with no seasons this way.
Anshuman Sinha
Anshuman Sinha 11 dagar sedan
Umm.. I think Feynman is still right. 😰
David 11 dagar sedan
I’ve just flipped my phone in the middle of watching his video, and I am amazed
NEVER GIVE UP 12 dagar sedan
So, the wing nut flapped because it got disturbed by the wind near it? And why is this going up? As there is no gravity, Can it go down too?
Maria 12 dagar sedan
Piotr Dudała
Piotr Dudała 12 dagar sedan
I belive that it was mechanism similar to Doomsday PlotDevice used in one of Clive Cussler's book - one about cutting off Ross Ice Shelf.
TheElectricOrigins 13 dagar sedan
That's stable for the Earth (or any orb) only if the is NO external force acting on it. (Solar wind, another orb, plasma EM...)
Kris Pedersen
Kris Pedersen 13 dagar sedan
Sounds nice. The beautiful flaw in your analysis? The earth is not a homogenous density beneath the crust. But please do ease your worries in false constants. Lolz.
Ahmad Alhuwaish
Ahmad Alhuwaish 14 dagar sedan
2020 joined the chat.
Nandita Shukla
Nandita Shukla 14 dagar sedan
This just blew my mind!!!
Макс Ф.
Макс Ф. 14 dagar sedan
Very cool explanation. I think, Feynman said it's impossible to explain simple as there was no all that animation stuff.
Spawn 14 dagar sedan
The earth is definitely going to flip. Shits going to hit the fan very soon (probably within this generation). The poles are migrating and it's only a matter of time. Remember that all religions speak about a "Great flood", what do you think caused the great flood. It's not a "If" but rather "When" Good luck!
Projet X
Projet X 15 dagar sedan
3:44 I tried to flip my phone and yeah it worked
Ana Karpova
Ana Karpova 15 dagar sedan
Video: contains the phrase "prove Feynman wrong" Also video: doesn't use this phrase as clickbait. I salute you.
Demonite Dag sedan
You: copies top comment No salutes for you
Harsh Sasotri
Harsh Sasotri 8 dagar sedan
Correct 🔥
Александр Булгаков
Александр Булгаков 15 dagar sedan
That's a great video! Thank you, I really enjoyed it
Timothy Halcomb
Timothy Halcomb 15 dagar sedan
This is ridiculous. Spinning about the third axis? Come on! This must be a comedy! Check this out:
Keith Hemmington
Keith Hemmington 16 dagar sedan
Who else just started flipping their phones??
Angry Person
Angry Person 16 dagar sedan
You just explained why spinning an egg tells me if it has been boiled.
Herringtunes 17 dagar sedan
Cats must use this lol
Bruh Mania
Bruh Mania 17 dagar sedan
hey i've noticed this while spinning tennis rackets before. neat.
Zyfus200 17 dagar sedan
Wouldnt it be possible then, to change Earth's maximum moment of intertia?
Society Unplugged
Society Unplugged 17 dagar sedan
But what if the heavier elements inside the earth slowly move to the poles, at one point the 3rd axis will become the 1st right? I know it won't happen but I ask to confirm if I understood the last part of your video correctly.
It's Woofle Time
It's Woofle Time 18 dagar sedan
Veratasium: *flips tennis racket Me:*starts flipping phone
LlamaMusicChannel 18 dagar sedan
Just threw my phone up and down for 5 minutes
Racer TV
Racer TV 19 dagar sedan
I can flip a phone the way he does without it spinning it’s easy
GEORGE ZEIGLER 19 dagar sedan
I wish this guy was my science teacher back in Elementary School, Jr High School, High school, etc..
cainathin 20 dagar sedan
Yes.... until the ice caps grow large enough to change the axis of maximum inertia..... then the earth will flip, so maybe it is a good thing they are melting.
A very British Scotsman Who loves American Patriots
A very British Scotsman Who loves American Patriots 20 dagar sedan
Janeebikov not Gianni beck off
Usama Iftikhar Butt
Usama Iftikhar Butt 20 dagar sedan
*8:21** So if we make sure that the disc would not bump. Then it will never flips.*
Kian Curatolo
Kian Curatolo 20 dagar sedan
Im curious, could something like this left to drift in empty space made out of a small crystal with the right properties, be considered a time crystal?
yurikolovsky 21 dag sedan
So all we have to do is build something heavy on one side of earth so that it would flip axis.
Kohn Futner
Kohn Futner 21 dag sedan
The water filled bottle eventually comes to a consistent rotation. But you have rain and other weather effects on earth that could possibly cause stabilization? I don't think you can compare earth to a water filled bottle.
Kohn Futner
Kohn Futner 21 dag sedan
That was a very good explanation because a not very bright person (me) understood it.
Kohn Futner
Kohn Futner 21 dag sedan
I'm sure it has to do with the wobble and then it flops to the other stabilization base. The wing nut is mind boggling.
DrGenocide 21 dag sedan
Can you do a video about how the sun will rise from the west and the sunset will be on the east scientifically
DeepFried Oreo
DeepFried Oreo 22 dagar sedan
That experiment with the bottle of water actually proves a lot about why gravity on earth works: At the start, they spin the bottle sideways and it twists like a ballerina. After a few seconds it starts to become unstable, and it shifts to the state of least resistance. If you look carefully when it does that, the axis it started spinning on is technically no longer actually spinning! The inertia from the spin is a part of the final rotational movement, but because that movement is extended over the whole object, rather than the object continuing to spin around that axis at the same rate, the spin is altered in the same way that the forces that caused the spin shift to ease the rotation of the object... It's actually amazing to see when you understand what's happening!
Gustavo Suarez
Gustavo Suarez 22 dagar sedan
I went full monkaS when he threw up the idea that the Earth could flip
what to say
what to say 22 dagar sedan
this video made me sick :)
Berke Başer
Berke Başer 22 dagar sedan
I couldnt understand whats the difference liquid filled and solid cylinder why liquid filled one change its axis while solid ones dont
Johns Town
Johns Town 23 dagar sedan
Why is there a baby bottle in space?
Adeptus G1bus
Adeptus G1bus 16 dagar sedan
not to spill water all over the station
morgan kempo
morgan kempo 23 dagar sedan
Who else just started flipping their phones??
Gillanator 23 dagar sedan
That's crazy I always wondered about this when flopping my phone. Thanks!
Youcef Belguidoum
Youcef Belguidoum 24 dagar sedan
Man... You're amazing. I'll watch all of your sponsors and install it just to help you continue
mike williams
mike williams 24 dagar sedan
Who else just started flipping their phones??
Wayne Pave
Wayne Pave 24 dagar sedan
My question is, If all of the water that is trapped in the ice caps melted and started moving towards the equator because of the rotation could there be a moment where an "Earth flip" could be possible? Is there enough mass and could it react that way?
Asad Chishti
Asad Chishti 24 dagar sedan
Me rotating my tv remote to get a cool flip and trying to get it straight. Feezisist
prashanth kumar
prashanth kumar 24 dagar sedan
really love it.... how simple things can lead to this such intuitive ideas...
BrazenRain 24 dagar sedan
Wonder if this is how the magnetic reversal of the poles occurs
Alan Li
Alan Li 24 dagar sedan
So in a nutshell, theres a small wobble and then it grows big then makes it flip the object, and process repeats? My brain cells are dying as I watch more of these vids.... still tho luv ur channel
SKM GAMER 24 dagar sedan
Something similar happens when u shake the antenna of your rc car. I did that long age, now i got my answer👌👍
ilililil ililil
ilililil ililil 25 dagar sedan
Lakshit Kava
Lakshit Kava 25 dagar sedan
Best Explaination 👌🏻👍
Albert Bourgeois, D.O.
Albert Bourgeois, D.O. 26 dagar sedan
I don't know if you read these comments, but I hope you read mine. I'm only going to make one point. When you spin a basketball and balance it on your fingertip, it causes a torsional rotation force that you have to actively compensate for to maintain its balance!!!
Marcello 26 dagar sedan
my stomach sober = 1 axis my stomach absolutely hammered = 3 axes
Warrior ##
Warrior ## 27 dagar sedan
9:19 if the centrifugal force is proportional to 1/r^2 so if the distance from Y-axis increases then the force centrifugal force decreases so how the lighter mass accelerates when it is going far from Y-axis
rodgersericv 27 dagar sedan
Why did he lie? The Earth's distribution of mass is constantly changing because of the tides primarily caused by the Moon at an angle not 90 degrees from the axis of rotation. The Earth is tilted. Plus human-induced climate change is causing the heating of the Earth in it's entirety, not just the atmosphere. This causes the liquid core that surrounds the solid core to become less viscous. This allows the solid core to be moved more by the influence of the Moon.
New Tunes For Old Logos
New Tunes For Old Logos 27 dagar sedan
You showed some evidence that mars is rotating on its third axis, and then didn’t do the same for earth. You literally just asserted it and then moved on. Looking at the North American Craton, you might want to do more than just assert what you hope for.
Anirban Joarder Tonmoy
Anirban Joarder Tonmoy 27 dagar sedan
Its possible to make an zero gravity engine with magnetic superposition against centrifugal force of the body of the engine to propel forward. To achive this, minimum 4500RPM rotating coil againt superconductor; increasing acceleration of any typical fuel driven engine upto 70times.
Paras Patheja
Paras Patheja 27 dagar sedan
Flat Earthers have been flipping since the Earth was formed.
Smitty Cruze And The Dropouts
Smitty Cruze And The Dropouts 27 dagar sedan
My pocketknife does that! I only nitice because there's a safety on one side
airman3 27 dagar sedan
immanuel Velkovsky, in his book "Earth in Upheaval" has tried to prove that earth does flip after every around 20,000 years. He proved this point by showing the layers of coral deposits on seabed. A column of coral sediment pulled out for research, showed that polarity of coral deposits changed suddenly, corresponding to 20k years of earth. According to him, the next flip is around the corner. (he died in 1979)
Mohammad Sagor
Mohammad Sagor 28 dagar sedan
I lost you at 7 minute mark.
Tim Månad sedan
My dude.. you are crazy smart. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with everyone!
Suzanne Hartmann
Suzanne Hartmann Månad sedan
And with all of the satellites around the earth, the hubble telescope, the supposed space stations we still do not have anything but NASA art of things happening supposedly in orbit around the earth.
Ivan Denisovich
Ivan Denisovich Månad sedan
This vid has me flipping crap all morning long.
Loren Seditious Sensei
Loren Seditious Sensei Månad sedan
But what about our binary or a trinary star, that's a very dense, white dwarf star that is dark and can only be seen with an infrared telescope, such as Lucifer. When this highly dense white dwarf comes through our solar system on an elliptical orbit, it could possibly cause our planet to pole shift among other things. And there is always the flat earth hypothesis that includes living under a dome firmament, and Antarctica is actually a barrier before the dome. And the the Holographic universe theory, as we are most probably existing in a holographic simulator, being ignorant to the illusion thinking everything is real and solid. Thank you for the excellent video!
Frank Gavlak
Frank Gavlak Månad sedan
But the earth is NOT a perfect sphere; it's wider at the equator. Also, it is not a solid mass; it contains a fluid (molten) center core. Perhaps this core itself "flips" from time to time causing a reversing of the magnetic poles?
John Borden
John Borden Månad sedan
Would it be possible for CONTINENTAL DRIFT to change the earth's mass distribution sufficiently to destabilize it?
Joseph Chapes
Joseph Chapes Månad sedan
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