Stringless Yo-Yo! | Summary and Q&A

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June 28, 2016
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Veritasium
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Stringless Yo-Yo!

TL;DR

Learn the secrets behind yo-yo tricks as Ben Conde demonstrates the physics involved in spinning, binding, and catching the yo-yo.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How does a yo-yo gain kinetic and rotational energy?

When a yo-yo is released, it unspools, gaining kinetic and rotational energy from gravitational potential energy. This allows it to spin at high speeds, providing the gyroscopic stability necessary for tricks.

Q: How does the string bind to the yo-yo during tricks?

When Ben tugs the string from one side of the yo-yo to the other, the yo-yo continues spinning, and the string binds to the spool, preventing further unravelling. This binding action allows him to perform tricks and keep the yo-yo attached.

Q: How does Ben catch the yo-yo with just the string?

Inside the yo-yo, there are friction pads made of silicone. By inserting the string into the gap with the pads, the string catches on the friction pads, allowing Ben to roll up the yo-yo. Even without the friction pads, the coiling of the string around the axle creates enough friction for catching.

Q: How does tension and friction play a role in yo-yo tricks?

The tension and friction between the string and the yo-yo are crucial for performing tricks. The belt friction equation indicates that the force the string exerts on the yo-yo increases exponentially with the angle the string makes around the axle. This allows a few turns around the yo-yo to enable Ben to pull it back into his hand.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Ben Conde demonstrates impressive yo-yo tricks by using the physics of unspooling, gaining kinetic and rotational energy, and maintaining gyroscopic stability.

  • The string binds to the yo-yo when Ben tugs it, causing it to roll up the string.

  • Friction pads and the coiling of the string around the axle allow Ben to catch the yo-yo.

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