Top Performance – by the numbers

As a econometrician/statistician I am always looking at data to see patterns and relationships. My large collection of metal tops provides me with lots of data to analyze.

After a conversation with Marc Osgood of Zen Spinning Tops who was making a top that weighed 17g that spun over 17 minutes, and which he named the 1:1 top, I conceived of a simple measure that I called the Zen Ratio in recognition of Marc’s achievement. The Zen Ratio  (ZR) is the ratio of the spin time in minutes to the weight of the top in grams. It can be calculated for any, and all, tops, not just long spinners. Marc’s 1:1 top was the first top in my collection to achieve a ZR greater than one.

Most tops have a Zen Ratio less than one. Below is a graph of over 550 tops showing their ZRs against the top weight. The inverse relationship (heavier tops have lower ZRs) is quite obvious. Out of interest, the data points in red are tungsten tops.

Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 12.23.26 PM.png

Many other collectors have tops with high ZRs. Below I present some data from those collectors of tops with ZRs greater than one. These data were collected at the beginning of 2018.

Screen Shot 2018-02-07 at 12.55.43 PM