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Author Topic: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?  (Read 1812 times)

Atomic

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Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« on: August 30, 2016, 01:52:40 PM »

This topic comes from reading other posts and also replies to my posts.  May I quote from the all-knowing site wiki:

"A top is a toy designed to be spin rapidly on the ground, the motion of which causes it to remain precisely balanced on its tip because of inertia."

 So it seems most people would define a top as being a spinning object as primary but also that it is top heavy where the COG is above the pivot point somewhere. In other words the spinning top could topple over from it's point of axis. Ta0 has said some spinning objects are not tops because they are"static", which I take to mean the top can not fall over do to reasons such as the centre of gravity (COG) being higher that the pivot point or maybe even if it is above the pivot point there might be a method of holding the top up such as a hole or a flat pivot, is that correct?

If the word "top" is exclusively reserved for topple designs, then what is the name for something with the COG lower than the pivot point? Please don't just say "cheating" ,lol.  There are obviously many variations of designs and of course this topple definition seems in line with my understanding of the meaning of the word top itself as in "above". If the definition is rigid as in "top heavy" then ok I understand, but I still wonder what a static spinner is called if the word "top" shouldn't be used to label it.

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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 02:51:54 PM »

Physicists use "top" to refer to many different kinds of spinning rigid bodies. The general public also uses it loosely, but in different ways. In this forum, however, it's probably safe to focus on real toy tops meant for use in the real world. I'd require 2 defining attributes: (i) Spinning motion, and (ii) a very high probability of falling over under gravity without spin. I'm on the fence as to whether there should also be (iii) some degree of rotational symmetry about the intended spin axis. (Physicists would call this a "heavy top", or if symmetrical, a "Lagrange top".)

If a real-world top comes to rest without falling over on rare occasion -- say, due to normal tip wear or a convex supporting surface -- I'd still call it a top. But if it did so on a reliable basis, by any means, I'd want to call it something else -- especially if it were designed that way. We recently wondered what to call an otherwise top-like toy that doesn't fall over, but the only consensus reached was that it should be distinguished from a regular top somehow.
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Playing with the physical world through LEGO

Iacopo

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 03:09:15 PM »

Jeremy wrote:"We recently wondered what to call an otherwise top-like toy that doesn't fall over, but the only consensus reached was that it should be distinguished from a regular top somehow".

It's here, in the second half of this page:

http://www.ta0.com/forum/index.php/topic,4498.0.html
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 03:36:28 PM by Iacopo »
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Atomic

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 04:13:28 PM »

Ok, I read that post and it is with great pleasure that I would like to announce a world premier for a new definition which I will use for my upcoming release of a design never before seen by me. It will relieve the world's burden of top confusion on this subject and although maybe not intuitively self-descriptive, the joy will be in learning the meaning.

Ok, you all ready?........Wait for it....... I will call a pivot below COG spinner a "POT"

Marvellous isn't it. Took a long time to come up with such a unique name! English is such a fun language to play with and corrupt.

Thank you, send flowers to a charity of your choice.  ;D :-X 8)
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 04:17:04 PM by Atomic »
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Jack

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 04:19:30 PM »

holy hell we're all questioning if a spintop is real now!?!?!  ;D i kid i kid ;D
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 07:12:37 PM »

Ok, you all ready?........Wait for it....... I will call a pivot below COG spinner a "POT"

Would you mind if we pick something else? Here in Colorado we're already using "pot" for at least 2 very different things on a daily basis.  ;^}
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Atomic

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 11:09:53 PM »

Ok, you all ready?........Wait for it....... I will call a pivot below COG spinner a "POT"

Would you mind if we pick something else? Here in Colorado we're already using "pot" for at least 2 very different things on a daily basis.  ;^}

If I may say (almost want to use "dude", lol)  that is a perfect reason to call them pots from a marketing point of view, I can see it now, hey man, try out this pot I got online, HAHAHAHAHAAAA, sry, where did I put my T-shirt from when I was young as the lights went out some time ago it seems, thanks for the memories. Wow, a whole new line of customers!!!

That does it, I'm turning out my first pot as soon as the new parting tool arrives. The tip fell out of the tool and I can't find it anywhere, only had one.
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Jeremy McCreary

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 02:48:55 PM »

If I may say (almost want to use "dude", lol)  that is a perfect reason to call them pots from a marketing point of view...

I think you're on onto something here.
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Atomic

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Re: Question: What is the definition of a top, and why?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2016, 03:37:23 PM »

If I may say (almost want to use "dude", lol)  that is a perfect reason to call them pots from a marketing point of view...

I think you're on onto something here.

lol, ya maybe, won't go into that part of life here.
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