matthen

Things of interest in Maths & Science

Photo

Why does a spinning gyroscope stay vertical, even when you try to topple it? In this diagram we have a spinning disc, and we focus on one part of it, symbolised by the ball. The disc is being twisted in the direction of the red arrows, and the force experienced by the ball is shown by its arrow. Note that before the ball can fall too far in one direction, it is pushed in the opposite direction. As a result it wobbles, instead of falling over. If there was no spinning, the force wouldn’t change direction and the disc would just fall over.  Also note that the ball is to the left on the near side, and to the right on the far side. This explains gyroscopic precession; although the disc won’t topple over, it will rotate clockwise looking down on it. [more] [code]

Why does a spinning gyroscope stay vertical, even when you try to topple it? In this diagram we have a spinning disc, and we focus on one part of it, symbolised by the ball. The disc is being twisted in the direction of the red arrows, and the force experienced by the ball is shown by its arrow. Note that before the ball can fall too far in one direction, it is pushed in the opposite direction. As a result it wobbles, instead of falling over. If there was no spinning, the force wouldn’t change direction and the disc would just fall over. ¬†Also note that the ball is to the left on the near side, and to the right on the far side. This explains gyroscopic precession; although the disc won’t topple over, it will rotate clockwise looking down on it. [more] [code]

  1. manicpanicschmanic reblogged this from 0solipsis
  2. 0solipsis reblogged this from matthen
  3. tyb reblogged this from matthen
  4. astromechology reblogged this from matthen
  5. galileans reblogged this from matthen
  6. matthen posted this
blog comments powered by Disqus
Matt Henderson

I post original stuff about maths, space, computational linguistics and other things that I like. This blog is meant to be accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds. My undergrad was maths in Cambridge, and I'm now starting research in Speech and Language technology. Email me at If you're new, check out this overview of my posts. All code posted is in Mathematica.

Topics

Share

I will pay you handsomely if you share my blog with your friends.

Tweets

Youtube

Recent Comments

Get Updates

Subscribe by email, to get the latest updates in your inbox automatically. Or use RSS if you have a news reader.