Balancing Act

Physics of Balancing Toy

The above shows a balancing toy which we use in our Physics tuition classes. Most people would have seen similar toys. The centre of gravity (C.G.) unlike what most students may think, is not at the physical pivot about which the toy is rotating. It is directly below the pivot when the toy is stationary. When the toy rotates, the C.G. moves together with the toy. As a result, the weight which is acting through the C.G. causes a moment which restores the toy back to its original position.