Rotating saddle trap as Foucault's pendulum

Oleg N. Kirillov, Mark Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

One of the many surprising results found in the mechanics of rotating systems is the stabilization of a particle in a rapidly rotating planar saddle potential. Besides the counterintuitive stabilization, an unexpected precessional motion is observed. In this note, we show that this precession is due to a Coriolis-like force caused by the rotation of the potential. To our knowledge, this is the first example where such a force arises in an inertial reference frame. We also propose a simple mechanical demonstration of this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Physics
Volume84
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

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saddles
pendulums
traps
stabilization
precession

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Kirillov, Oleg N. ; Levi, Mark. / Rotating saddle trap as Foucault's pendulum. In: American Journal of Physics. 2016 ; Vol. 84, No. 1. pp. 26-31.
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Rotating saddle trap as Foucault's pendulum. / Kirillov, Oleg N.; Levi, Mark.

In: American Journal of Physics, Vol. 84, No. 1, 01.01.2016, p. 26-31.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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