Modeling a Spinning and Flipping Handle Using Springs and Python

Photo: Rhett Allain

I don’t think that title really explains the problem. It’s called the Dzhanibekov Effect — but that doesn’t really help either. How about this? Imagine you are in the International space station and you unscrew a t-handle really fast. Once the handle leaves the thread, it’s just floating there and spinning. Then this happens (here is the YouTube version):