Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

An experiment with the bicycle rim

Take a bicycle rim and extend its axle on both sides. Tie two strings at both ends A and B, as shown in the adjoining figure. Hold both the strings together in one hand such that the rim is vertical. If you leave one string, the rim will tilt. Now keeping the rim in vertical position with both the strings in one hand, say B, from your hand and observe what happens.

The rim keeps rotating in a vertical plane and the plane of rotation turns around the string A which you are holding. We say that the axis of rotation of the rim of equivalently its angular momentum precesses about the string A.

The rotating rim gives rise to an angular momentum. Determine the direction of this angular momentum. When you are holding the rotating rim with string A, a torque is generated. (We leave it to you to find out how the torque is generated and what its direction is).The effect of the torque on the angular momentum is to make it precess around an axis perpendicular to both the angular momentum and torque. Verify all these statements.