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*To*: Multiple recipients of list <dinosaur@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu>*Subject*: Using Physics and Earths wobble*From*: "Glen Moore" <Glen_Moore@uow.edu.au>*Date*: Wed, 12 Jul 1995 23:00:52 -0400*Reply-to*: Glen_Moore@uow.edu.au*Sender*: dinosaur@lepomis.psych.upenn.edu

A response to something seen on the discussion recently. _______________________________________________________________________________ Subject: Re: Warm- vs. Cold-blooded Dinos > >I am not suggesting anything about the pole behavior of the earth, but a >non-symmetric rigid body spinning about its intermediate inertia tensor will >spin stablely for a period inversely related to the initial deviation of the >intermediate intertia tensor from the spin axis. A little knowledge........ The Physics here is that a rotating object such as the earth or a child's top has three mutually perpendicular axes (usually axes of symmetry) which have different moments of inertia. If we spin such a body about the axis which has the intermediate value (middle value) then it will be unstable. However if we spin the body about either of the other two axes it may wobble but the wobble will not increase with time i.e. it will be stable. This means that for the earth which is spinning about its poles (the largest moment of inertia) it will have a 'stable' wobble called a precession. Clearly such motion will not create long term climate effects (the wobble for the earth has a period of only about a year). Glen Moore Senior Lecturer in Physics (and still trying to purchase a dinosaur!) glen_moore@uow.edu.au

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