Rotating saddle trap as Foucault's pendulum

Oleg N. Kirillov, Mark Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

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

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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