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Physics tip sheet #29 October 23, 2002

tions that can be experimentally tested in the laboratory.

Journal article: Available on request

3) Spinning coins
K. Easwar, F. Rouyer, N. Menon
Physical Review E (Print issue: October 2002)

When you spin a coin on its edge and it begins to fall over, you notice that the face on the coin begins to rotate. As the coin gets closer to the table, the face rotates faster and the sounds change from a rolling noise to a whirring or chattering. There has been some debate over what causes the motion and how the coin is actually brought to a stop. Some have suggested it is air drag, but new experiments show that friction with the table is the main reason. Also, bouncing, slipping and acoustic emission do not contribute significantly to the energy loss. The spinning coin is an example of what is called a finite-time singularity, in which an increasing amount of energy is being used in one part of an object's motion. Eventually, that motion uses up all the available energy and the rest stops. In this case, the rotation of the face uses up so much energy, there is none left to keep the coin moving above the table and the whole process comes to a sudden halt.

Journal article: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v66/e045102

4) Neutrinos away!
J. Detwiler, G. Gratta, N. Tolich, Y. Uchida
Physical Review Letters (Print issue: November 4, 2002)

Nuclear submarines may emit enough neutrinos to influence future experiments trying to study these most elusive particles. However, this also means that nuclear submarines could provide good mobile neutrino sources for new types of experiments. (Note: The Nobel Prize last week was partly awarded for the detection of neutrinos, a truly difficult task.)

Physics News Update: http://www.aip.org/enews/physnews/2002/split/610-3.html
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Contact: David Harris
harris@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
23-Oct-2002


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