The Perse School

The physics of spin

19 Mar 2014

On Tuesday 18 March, around 30 students from Year 12 made their way after school to the last lecture of the academic year in the Cambridge Physics Centre lecture series.

Professor Mark Warner from the Cavendish Laboratory gave an engaging talk about ‘spin’, covering spin as a vector quantity and considering its application to gyroscopes, the way in which ice skaters control their speed during a spin and the length of a day on planet Earth.  With the aid of interactive demonstrations and clear explanations, by the end of the lecture the students were able to predict the direction in which a student sitting on a chair holding a spinning bicycle wheel would turn as they tilted the wheel backwards and forwards.

After the lecture, a group of 20 students and staff went for a curry, to continue discussing the physics of ‘spin’ along with other, less academic subjects.

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