Sunday, September 11, 2011

How a Gyroscope Works

I mean, really!?  They seem magical.  Gravity defiant.  If you need a reminder watch this:

Start the gyroscope spinning.
But, it isn't just rotating in a circle.  It's also being pulled out by angular momentum.

These forces, if it were not for the sturdy nature of the wheel, would cause the pieces to fling apart.

So, just like a racing car has trouble turning, since it wants to go straight, so the wheel wants to keep spinning around and out.  Any deviation from this is met with resistance, thus causing the gyroscope to stabilize.  

This may seem terribly simple to many of you, but it was something I had to think through explaining recently and found that there are not many quality explanations on the internet. That and I wanted to doodle. :)

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