When does a top flop? A top flops when it stops, of course. A spinning top has the amazing ability to balance itself on a point - something totally impossible when it is not spinning.

Experiment with spinning tops. You can use a top from a toy store or you can make your own. Here's a top that's easy to make. You need a large button and two twist ties. Insert a twist tie through a hole in the button. If the button has two holes, insert the second twist tie. If the button has four holes, the twist ties should be diagonally across from each other. The button should be slightly closer to one end of the twist ties than the other. Twist the twist ties together on both sides of the button. The longer end will be the end you spin. The shorter end will be the axis point.

twist tie top
Rest the spinning point of your top on a level open surface. Hold the end of the twist ties with you thumb and index finger, and quickly move your thumb forward as you move your index finger back. It takes a little practice to give your top a nice long spin. This is a pinch spin top.
twist tie top
Order Book