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Tippe Top (Wood)
from The STEMcell Science Shop
This spinning top has a surprising behavior. When spun, it will invert itself to spin upside down until it loses momentum. This interesting gyroscopic effect is generally credited to surface friction. This small friction causes a torque which gradually rotates the sphere on a second axis and forces it up onto the stem. Note the direction of rotation before and after it flips.
Tippe tops (also known as flip over tops) were originally invented in 1950 by the Danish engineer Werner Ostberg. His inspiration came from a visit to South America where he had seen local people playing with a small round fruit. When they turned it by the stalk like an old-fashioned spinning top, it would spin for a second and then invert and spin on the stalk.