The trick of torque!

15 minutes


  • Carefully review the general safety advice on the back of the box cover before starting the experiment.
  • Disassemble the setup after the experiment.


Dispose of solid waste together with household garbage.

Scientific description

Any object that has mass also has inertia. Inertia is the property of an object to resist forces that try to move it. It also resists forces that try to stop it when the object is already moving. For example, if we try to push a heavy stationary ball, we have to apply force but we also have to apply force to stop this ball after.

A rotating object also seeks to preserve its motion. A rotating flat object is called a gyroscope. It is not a special scientific object; the gyroscope can be found in everyday life, for example, rolling or spinning coins . The rolling coin keeps moving forward due to inertia but it remains in a vertical position  and does not fall sideways due to the gyroscopic effect. The gyroscopic effect keeps a rotating object in the position in which it began to rotate.

In the experiment, the spinning top is fixed vertically  and when rotated, it becomes a gyroscope. When rotating , the top has a gyroscopic effect that tends to keep the top in its original position. Since the disk is fixed with a handle, when we try to turn the rotating gyroscope by the handle, we can feel the resistance of the gyroscopic effect. As the rotational motion slows down, the gyroscopic effect weakens.