Publication details

Physics of the mechanical toy Gee-Haw Whammy Diddle


MAREK Martin BADIN Matej PLESCH Martin

Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Scientific Reports
MU Faculty or unit

Institute of Computer Science

Web PDF online
Keywords Statistical physics; thermodynamics and nonlinear dynamics; Techniques and instrumentation
Description Gee-Haw Whammy Diddle is a seemingly simple mechanical toy consisting of a wooden stick and a second stick that is made up of a series of notches with a propeller at its end. When the wooden stick is pulled over the notches, the propeller starts to rotate. Despite its simplicity, physical principles governing the motion of the stick and the propeller are rather complicated and interesting. Here we provide a thorough analysis of the system and parameters influencing the motion. We show that contrary to the results published on this topic so far, neither elliptic motion of the stick nor frequency synchronization is needed for starting a stable motion of the propeller.

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