Forces and Motion

The devil’s suitcase

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

George Gamow relates a prank carried out by the French physicist, Jean Perrin. Perrin is reported to have packed a running aviation gyroscope into a suitcase, which he checked in at a Paris railway station. When a porter carrying the case tried to turn a corner, the suitcase refused to turn, twisting his wrist. The porter reportedly exclaimed: ‘The devil himself must be inside’ and ran off.


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