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Symmetry Breaking on a Rotating Hoop Presentation Documents

Main Document

Symmetry Breaking on a Rotating Hoop 

written by Wolfgang Christian

The Rotating Hoop Launcher package shows the dynamics of a mass that is constrained to move on a rotating hoop.  The rotating hoop model is an excellent mechanical model of first- and second-order phase transitions.  Although the minimum of the potential energy curve corresponds to the bottom of the hoop at low rotation frequency, a spontaneous symmetry breaking (cusp catastrophe) occurs as the frequency is increased.  This package presents the theory and an Easy Java Simulation (Ejs) of this experiment. The package and a demonstration were presented at the NC Section of the AAPT Spring 2008 meeting by Wolfgang Christian and Ken Rathbun.

Last Modified October 17, 2008

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