Nikki Sanford and Mary Funke, BigSURS 2011

Video Analysis of a Hula Hoop Rotating About a Rotating Pivot
Presented at the 2011 Big South Undergraduate Research Symposium (BigSURS)

To model a hula hoop rotating around a person’s arm, a mechanical device was created with a spool attached to a bent steel rod that was rotated in uniform circular motion using a variable speed drill. Using Tracker for video analysis, the motion of a point on the hoop was examined. The x-position versus time graph of the motion was found to be a sum of two sinusoidal functions of slightly different frequencies, i.e. a beat pattern. It was determined from the data that one of the frequencies in the motion of the hoop was twice the frequency of the spool. The video, data analysis, and results from a theoretical model will be presented.