An interactive way to demonstrate angular momentum with any grade level.
- One bicycle wheel
- Two metal handles
- String for wheel suspension
Wrap the string around one of the bicycle wheel handles tightly and pull it. This will cause the wheel to spin fast. Holding the wheel by its handles allows you to feel the forces keeping the wheel sideways, in its place. You can also use the string to suspend the wheel in the air, and the wheel will remain sideways! Spinning the wheel adds torque to it. The torque interacts with the angular momentum of the wheel in such a way that forces it to stay sideways until external forces stop it. The bearings inside the wheel greatly reduce the friction while spinning, so it will maintain its momentum for a considerable amount of time.