# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?  (Read 520 times)

#### jerrygg38

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##### Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?
« on: 31/08/2016 13:17:04 »
Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?
I got a new toy gyroscope which helped answer some questions. When it is spinning I can move the gyroscope along its axis without any opposing force. In addition when I move the gyroscope exactly perpendicular to its axis, I also do not notice any force.  Yet once I turn the axis to a slight angle, there is a noticeable force. Furthermore when the plane of the gyroscope wheel is parallel to the surface of the Earth the force is much less when moved than when the axis of the gyroscope is parallel to the Earth. Are these results valid?

#### chiralSPO

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##### Re: Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?
« Reply #1 on: 31/08/2016 16:59:03 »
All are valid except the last. Gyroscopes will resist changes in the orientation of their axis, but not rotation about that axis, or changes in their position.

#### jerrygg38

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##### Re: Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?
« Reply #2 on: 01/09/2016 14:16:21 »
All are valid except the last. Gyroscopes will resist changes in the orientation of their axis, but not rotation about that axis, or changes in their position.
Thanks. I detect differences depending on whether the gyroscope surface is parallel or perpendicular to the Earth's surface. However perhaps this is due to differences in the friction at the support points. When the axis is vertical the lower support point takes the main load. However when the axis is horizontal the weight of the gyro wheel rubs on the supports equally with perhaps more friction.

#### chiralSPO

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##### Re: Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?
« Reply #3 on: 01/09/2016 17:05:39 »
All are valid except the last. Gyroscopes will resist changes in the orientation of their axis, but not rotation about that axis, or changes in their position.
Thanks. I detect differences depending on whether the gyroscope surface is parallel or perpendicular to the Earth's surface. However perhaps this is due to differences in the friction at the support points. When the axis is vertical the lower support point takes the main load. However when the axis is horizontal the weight of the gyro wheel rubs on the supports equally with perhaps more friction.

I think that you are correct in thinking that the number of points of contact is likely the difference between horizontal and vertical experiments. I don't know what sort of gyroscope you're playing with, but you might have success in constructing your own using a bicycle wheel mounted at the end of a pole (like a broom handle) such that that pole is coincident with the axis of rotation. Spin the wheel up to a  reproducible speed (I have seen this done with the aid of a power drill (sans bit), but that could be dangerous if you don't do it right), and then you can experience the force (maybe not quantify it, but at least feel the magnitude and direction of the it) as you move it around by holding the end of the pole for from the spinning wheel.

« Last Edit: 01/09/2016 17:11:23 by chiralSPO »

#### jerrygg38

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##### Re: Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?
« Reply #4 on: 02/09/2016 13:57:37 »
All are valid except the last. Gyroscopes will resist changes in the orientation of their axis, but not rotation about that axis, or changes in their position.
Thanks. I detect differences depending on whether the gyroscope surface is parallel or perpendicular to the Earth's surface. However perhaps this is due to differences in the friction at the support points. When the axis is vertical the lower support point takes the main load. However when the axis is horizontal the weight of the gyro wheel rubs on the supports equally with perhaps more friction.

I think that you are correct in thinking that the number of points of contact is likely the difference between horizontal and vertical experiments. I don't know what sort of gyroscope you're playing with, but you might have success in constructing your own using a bicycle wheel mounted at the end of a pole (like a broom handle) such that that pole is coincident with the axis of rotation. Spin the wheel up to a  reproducible speed (I have seen this done with the aid of a power drill (sans bit), but that could be dangerous if you don't do it right), and then you can experience the force (maybe not quantify it, but at least feel the magnitude and direction of the it) as you move it around by holding the end of the pole for from the spinning wheel.

Thanks for the idea. I have a dual grinding wheel in a housing. The wheels spin at a fixed speed 1800 rpm. It is safe to hold. I will try moving it from a horizontal position and a vertical position and see if I can notice a difference. Going shopping right now before the big North Carolina storm so it may take me 2 days before I can try this outdoors. I will post any results I get. (if any)

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##### Re: Are the results of my toy gyroscope experiment valid?
« Reply #4 on: 02/09/2016 13:57:37 »