New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge
 I About I Resources I Help I Archive I News Flash I

Registration

Proposals
Interims
Final Reports

Dates

Kickoff
Evaluations
Expo
STI
Wiki

School Map

Mail

Challenge
Technical Guide

Past Participant Survey

GUTS

Challenge Team Interim Report

 Team Number: 038 School Name: Lovington High School Area of Science: Physics Project Title: What Causes Torque to Reverse Itself? A Study and Explanation of the Rattleback (Celt).
 Abstract Interim Final Report

PROBLEM DEFINITION:

The rattleback is a small, elliptical object shaped similar to the hull of a boat. Also called a celt, it exhibits very strange behavior when spun clockwise. If the object is placed on a flat surface and is rotated clockwise, it will gradually slow its speed until a point at which the two ends wobble up and down. The rattleback will then suddenly reverse its rotational direction and spin counter-clockwise for a few moments, then stopping completely. We wondered how and why this small, solid shaped object displayed properties which seem to defy basic principles of physics. Our team wants to be able to explain why and how the rattleback does what it does mathmatically. By analyzing and simulating the object we could better understand its unique characteristics.

COMPUTATIONAL PLAN:

Presently, we have not yet been able to locate or develop a mathmatical model relative to our project. There are a few books that we are aware of which explain the mathmatical aspect of the object. Our team is hoping to find these books and research the formulas behind its behavior, taking into account friction, radii, rate of spin, force, axies of inertia, etc. By developing such a mathmatical model, we will be able to calculate the numerous variables factored into the rattleback which account for its unique properties, in particular, reversing its torque. Our program should be able to describe the object under any conditions and be able to model its motions.

PROGRESS:

Since the "Kickoff Conference" at Glorieta, we have made substantial progress in our project. We have researched the rattleback and have learned a great deal pertaining to how it behaves the way it does. We have gathered most of our information from the internet. We have only come to one hurdle in our research: finding and developing equations which describe the rattleback. Our team has searched through libraries to the internet. A physics major from the University of Caterberry, in New Zealand, has also aided us in our progress greatly. She is very knowledgeable on the subject and is willing to help us in the development of our project.

EXPECTED RESULTS:

The goal which our team has set to achieve is to create a program using the C/C++ programming language that mathmatically analyzes the rattleback and models its behavior under any circumstances. This, we feel, will then provide us with the knowledge to comprehend and be able to explain why the object can reverse its direction; possibly allowing us to learn how energy can be harnessed and transfered with greater efficiency.

Team Members

Team Mail