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Forces > Forces and motion > Rotation

Rotations are motions due to one or more forces during which objects move around a fixed axis. Rotation around an object’s own axis (spinning) is one of the most common motions in nature. Celestial objects (like stars, planets and galaxies) all spin around their axis. Elementary particles (like quarks and electrons) have a property known as spin, an intrinsic angular momentum, as if they were spinning balls of charge. Many objects also rotate around other ones (for instance, the Earth rotates around the Sun, and electrons orbit the nucleus).

Connection to Big Idea about energy: Every rotating object contains energy. Rotation can be used to turn a source of energy to another (in wind energy turbines for example).

Connection to Big Idea about the universe: Rotation is everywhere around the universe. All celestial objects rotate around their axes. Some celestial objects orbit around others. For example, the Earth and the other planets rotate (revolve) around our Sun. Stars rotate around the centre of their galaxy.

Connection to Big Idea about particles: Electrons rotate around the atomic nucleus. Molecules can rotate around their center of mass.

Connection to Big Idea about quantum: All subatomic particles spin around their axis. In quantum mechanics spin is an intrinsic form of angular momentum carried by elementary particles, composite particles (hadrons), and atomic nuclei.

Subjects related: Environmental Sciences, Physics

Age ranges: 14-15,15-16,16-17,17-18



PLATON is a two-year European project launched on September 2016. It aspires to provide teachers and school communities with a coherent teachers’ training framework which will update their current teaching practices. More particularly, PLATON aims to offer an open and innovative training framework to teachers of primary and secondary education which will focus on:

  • Promoting student-centred teaching approaches;
  • Promoting a holistic interdisciplinary approach;
  • Support the use of online educational tools;
  • Support the meaningful collaboration between teachers of the same school.



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