What is angular momentum?


The equivalent of linear momentum in rotational motion is angular momentum. It is the property of a rotating body given by the product of a moment of inertia and the angular velocity of a rotating object.

  • The Angular Momentum of a rotating body is proportional to its mass and to how rapidly it is turning.
  • In addition, the angular momentum depends on how the mass is distributed relative to the axis of rotation: the further away the mass is located from the axis of rotation, the greater the angular momentum.
  • A flat disk such as a record turntable has more angular momentum than a tall cylinder of the same mass and velocity of rotation.
  • Like linear momentum, angular momentum is a vector quantity, and its conservation implies that the direction of the spin axis tends to remain unchanged.
  • For this reason, the spinning top remains upright whereas a stationary one falls over immediately.


  1. Gyroscope
  2. Gyroscope

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