Novelty toys are some of the best ways to learn physics concepts. Elucidation of almost every fundamental, elementary concept of physics can be found in nearly every playground all over the world.
The slide teaches how slope affects the movement of bodies as well as the conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy, while the merry-go-around demonstrates how centrifugal force pushes things away from the center of a spinning object.
On the other hand, the swings teach how simple harmonic motion works, and the monkey bars show why it’s harder to climb up than come down.
Such an elementary introduction to these concepts is necessary for the normal functioning of any human being, and the act of understanding them can be a very rewarding experience. In a world where the smallest of things have a lot to teach in terms of physics, the Beyblade is a veritable goldmine of physics concepts. Check out our collection of the very best beyblades to understand what we mean.
Let us now dwell into the physics of a Beyblade.
What is a Beyblade?
If you don’t know what a Beyblade is, it’s basically a plastic, or in rare cases a metal, spinning top. But instead of using a string to start it’s spinning motion, it relies on a zip cord.
To make the Beyblade spin, you’d have to attach the Beyblade onto the launcher, push the zip cord into the launcher that comes along with the top, and then pull the zip cord to make it spin. That’s it!
Now that we’ve covered the essentials of what a Beyblade is, let’s have a nice look into how exactly the various forces and concepts come together to make the Beyblade spin!
The Newton’s Laws of Motion:
Ah, the famous three laws that almost everyone on the planet knows! As the Beyblade rotates, it also moves in a line. If it eventually hits an obstacle, say a wall, it rebounds to another direction.
This is the first law of motion – an object will continue to move in one direction unless another force acts on it. In this case, the force is applied by the wall, which causes the Beyblade to move away after hitting it.
Translation of linear motion into rotational motion:
As you know by now, the Beyblade starts spinning when the zip cord is pulled out of the launcher. In physics, this movement is a direct demonstration of the concept of translation of circular motion.
What’s happening is that a tangent force, or the force that is applied onto the Beyblade due to the zip cord that touches the edge, makes the Beyblade want to move in a straight line.
But since the Beyblade is held by the launcher, it isn’t free to move in a straight line. Hence, the tangent force manifests itself as torque which starts spinning the Beyblade instead of moving it in a straight line.
As the Beyblade moves, the constant rubbing of its tip on the surface on which it’s spinning will cause the Beyblade to slow down eventually and stop. The friction with air contributes to a loss in its energy too.
But the design of the Beyblade should minimise friction, since the goal is to create a toy which can spin for longer durations (the longer, the better). Hence, only the tip of the Beyblade touches the ground. Since a small area is in contact with the surface, the rubbing is reduced.
These were a few physics concepts which find their direct applications in a simple Beyblade toy!