How Do Fidget Spinners Work?

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Introduction

Some people just don’t get what’s so special about these little boomerang shaped toys. As simple as they might seem, there’s some physics involved in these weirdly amusing toys. Ball bearings are the reason a spinner spins. Their smooth round shape has less friction because of their rolling motion. At the center and on each of the three tips of the spinner, you will find a bearing race which is the circular channel around which tiny balls roll.

To get any object to rotate, you need to exert a twisting force which is known as torque. In the case of fidget spinners (view the top 10 list), the outer bearing race spins around and the outer parts of the fidget spin along with the outer bearing race. One flick of a finger will or wrist will set the spinner in motion.

How Do Fidget Spinners Spin For So Long?

If something is spinning in a circle, nothing will stop it until an external force intervenes. In the case of a fidget spinner, this external force is mostly friction. The ball bearings inside a fidget spinner are there to reduce as much fiction as possible. These balls cannot move on their own but can rotate their axis. Since the rings are only in contact with the balls, sliding them would cause very little friction.

This is also why the balls and rings are made of metal; to further reduce any possible friction. When you begin to spin a fidget spinner, it will spin because of the minimal friction between the ball bearings. It will take a while for this kinetic energy to dissipate which means you have a decent amount of spin time available.

How Fidget Spinners Reduce Stress?

So do fidget spinners actually reduce stress and anxiety or id it just a marketing gimmick? Fidgeting is one of many symptoms of a stressed or anxious person and is also exhibited by people who struggle to stay focused. If something is not able to hold our attention, fidgeting increases attentiveness by distracting the part of the brain that is “bored”. This allows other parts to remain focused. Fidgeting is also a natural response to high levels of stress and helps to get rid of pent up nervous energy.

According to the experts, there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that fidget spinners help reduce stress and anxiety. Using them to aid concentration is questionable since you will still be concentrating on the fidget spinner and not the task at hand. It stands to reason that these spinners might actually be more of a distraction than an actual aid when it comes to fidgeting.

The spinners were apparently designed for children who suffer from ADHD and other anxiety orders but ironically, these toys are being banned from schools and classrooms because of the distractions they are causing for teachers and fellow classmates. Fidget spinners, or any other type of “stress toy” should never replace medication or healthy behavioural therapies.

Why Do Fidget Spinners Have Bearings on the Outside?

To get any object to rotate, you need to exert a twisting force which is known as torque. In the case of fidget spinners, the outer bearing race spins around and the outer parts of the fidget spin along with the outer bearing race. One flick of a finger will set the spinner in motion.
Fidget spinners have bearings on the outside to help reduce fiction. Their smooth round, metal shape is the best option for lower levels of friction.

The ball bearings inside a fidget spinner are there to reduce as much fiction as possible. These balls cannot move by themselves but can rotate on their axis. Since the rings are only in contact with the balls, sliding them would cause very little friction. This is why the balls and rings are made of metal; to further reduce any possible friction.

The weight of the ball bearings also helps to balance out the toy, enabling it to spin without become wobbly or off centre. The bearings also help to build kinetic energy which makes the spinner spin for an extended time. When you begin to spin a fidget spinner, it will spin because of the minimal friction between the ball bearings. It will take a while for this energy to dissipate.

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