Indicating the direction in conservation of angular momentum

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Physics Education, vol.59, no.3, 2024 (Scopus) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1088/1361-6552/ad27a7
  • Journal Name: Physics Education
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Communication Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), INSPEC, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: angular momentum, conservation of angular momentum, physics education
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


This study developed a teaching material that makes the conservation of angular momentum, which students find very difficult, more concrete. The fact that angular momentum is a vector concept, the direction of the vector and the importance of this vector direction in angular momentum conservation are visualized. The teaching material consists of a table mounted on a freely rotating shaft, two electric motors mutually connected to the table, and a speed adjuster circuit used to change the rotation speeds of the motors. When electric motors begin to rotate, the angular momentum of the motors changes. How the angular momentum of the system is preserved thanks to the changing angular momentum of the parts interacting with each other, the directions of the vectors formed, the inertia torque, angular velocity, angular momentum relationship, and the relationship of the parts forming a system with each other have been tried to be explained in detail through the teaching material. When the motors were operated in different directions and speeds, the change in the rotation direction of the table was observed. This observation concretizes that angular momentum and angular momentum conservation are vector concepts. The right-hand rule, which describes the angular momentum vector direction with the material, can be demonstrated to students in practice. Video recordings showing how the teaching material works have been shared with readers.