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The fun part about exploring the physics of [Fantastic Contraption](http://fantasticcontraption.com/) is coming up with new setups to test ideas. Torque is not too difficult to set up. Here is what I did: ![Screenshot 04](http://scienceblogs.com/dotphysics/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/screenshot-041.jpg) In this setup, I have a “turning ball” with a wood stick attached to the side. I increased the length of…

In my classes, I like to bring up the question: *Why do astronauts float around in space?* The most common response to this question is that they float around because there is no gravity in space. Some people take this a small step further and say that there is no gravity in space because there…