Spinning things are strange. Why does a spinning top stand up? Why doesn't a rolling wheel fall over? How does a falling cat always manage to land on its feet? How can the Hubble Space Telescope turn around in space? How do ice-skaters spin so fast?
Taking a look at gyroscopes, this lecture explores the common threads that link all spinning things. The law of Conservation of Angular Momentum is far more subtle than we may think and there are many counter-intuitive observations.
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Professor Hugh Hunt is a Reader in Engineering Dynamics and Vibration at Cambridge University. His research centres on climate change and how we might refreeze the arctic. Other research interests include noise and vibration from underground trains, pendulum clocks and spinning things that fly.
Hugh is a regular presenter on television documentaries including "Dambusters: Building the Bouncing Bomb", "Attack of the Zeppelins", "Escape from Colditz" and "Guy Martin Wall of Death". He is Keeper of the Clock at Trinity College, a clock which is demonstrably the most accurate tower clock in the world. He has an impressive collection of boomerangs which he uses to inspire students in the study of dynamics and mechanics.