What is Gyroscopes: Definition and 43 Discussions

A gyroscope (from Ancient Greek γῦρος gûros, "circle" and σκοπέω skopéō, "to look") is a device used for measuring or maintaining orientation and angular velocity. It is a spinning wheel or disc in which the axis of rotation (spin axis) is free to assume any orientation by itself. When rotating, the orientation of this axis is unaffected by tilting or rotation of the mounting, according to the conservation of angular momentum.
Gyroscopes based on other operating principles also exist, such as the microchip-packaged MEMS gyroscopes found in electronic devices (sometimes called gyrometers), solid-state ring lasers, fibre optic gyroscopes, and the extremely sensitive quantum gyroscope.Applications of gyroscopes include inertial navigation systems, such as in the Hubble Telescope, or inside the steel hull of a submerged submarine. Due to their precision, gyroscopes are also used in gyrotheodolites to maintain direction in tunnel mining. Gyroscopes can be used to construct gyrocompasses, which complement or replace magnetic compasses (in ships, aircraft and spacecraft, vehicles in general), to assist in stability (bicycles, motorcycles, and ships) or be used as part of an inertial guidance system.
MEMS gyroscopes are popular in some consumer electronics, such as smartphones.

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  1. AHaHaCiK

    A question about why gyroscopes fall slowly

    why when the gyroscope work for a short time, it will fall down slowly. I know that the system loses the energy by work done by friction between the wheel and its axis, but I don't understand how this makes the gyro drops. I think the friction makes the wheel spin slowly, and precession...
  2. A

    Why do gyroscopes not fall down?

    he said torque is in direction into the board,but this torque don't have upward commoment so what keep gyroscope to not fall down because mg pull him down??so waht is is force which oppose to gravity?? i understand that torque into the board cause gyroscope rotating in cricle(gyroscope...
  3. cianfa72

    I Rotation or acceleration defined without relation to something else

    Starting from this post, we are able to define the concept of (proper) acceleration or rotation without any reference to something else About this definition which is the physical meaning of gyroscopes axes pointing in three mutually orthogonal spacelike directions ? In other words, from a...
  4. P

    How can gyroscopes be used to find the angular velocity?

    I was reading that gyroscopes can be used to measure the angular velocity of precession, such as in the Hubble space telescope, but mathematically how can this be done? Many thanks
  5. DaveC426913

    B Attitude Control Gyroscopes on Spaceships

    I'm not looking for fiction; I'm looking for physics. Assumptions: - An engine efficient enough that you can afford to thrust for very long periods - maybe fusion? (OK, that's fiction) - A lot of maneuvering (eg. you could thrust until turnaround point and then decelerate) - With a lot of...
  6. A

    Mechanical gyroscopes -- still used in airplanes?

    I was a bit unsure where to post this, but this one seemed fitting enough. I was wondering about the state of gyros in airplanes, like which type is being used today. Are they all optik/fiber-based or are there mechanical gyroscopes at work. (By mechanical i mean the standard spinning wheel, not...
  7. shintashi

    What happens with counter rotating gyroscopes?

    I was thinking about retro rockets for landing and how precise they have to be, but then i thought "you could stabilize the whole thing with a gyroscope". Then I realized the gyroscope would cause the landing shipment to rotate in the opposite direction. So I thought, hey, why not two...
  8. farolero

    I fail to see how two counterrotating gyroscopes behave

    so my assumption is that 2 counterotating gyros offer nor resistance to spin, its like they were not spinning but two counter rotating gyros set in a V shape will offer resistance in all axes of space so an astronaut in space has the arm aiming up and in each hand he has two counterotating...
  9. G

    Conservation of momentum in gyroscopes

    Not a scientist, please be nice :) Let's assume I have a singe axis gyro (flywheel) spinning in space. I apply a force to a point which results in a change in pitch. I apply this force until the gyro is at 5* pitch and then stop. Will the gyro continue to change pitch after the force stops...
  10. T

    A Automotive project to determine road gradient during braking

    Hello Forum, Does anybody have suggestions as to how we can use IMU's (accelerometers and gyros) to determine the gradient of a road during a braking event. We have wheel speed inputs so can calculate decelerations independently from the IMU. Thank You Tim
  11. Dukon

    Exploring Properties of Gyroscopes & GR Analysis for Motion

    many properties of gyroscopic motion are non-intuitive because I think the standard physical features are not correctly identified by observers. Some who know little quickly claim that this or that law of physics is violated and some new discovery is afoot. I tend to think that all laws of...
  12. M

    Exploring the Potential of Gyroscopes for Motorcycle Balance

    Hi, I saw a video online of a self balancing 2 wheeled car. Basically a motorcycle with a body though has a steering wheel rather than handle bars. It uses two gyroscopes spinning in opposite directions to keep it's balance and was wondering if a similar thing could be adapted for regular...
  13. H Smith 94

    Gyroscopic precession: What provides the centripetal force?

    Hi there! I've been searching the internet for hours trying to find a decent explanation to this question. I'm thinking particularly of the example of a precessing spinning top. (Note: I own this diagram. Please do not use it without direct and written permission.) So when the top is tilted...
  14. M

    Need help understanding a concept in Gyroscopes

    So I've been trying to understand a concept in gyroscopes and I hope the guys and girls here can help me with it. I first read it here, the part about mounting 2 gyroscopes with their axes at right angles to each other. It said that the platform will remain totally rigid. I tried to...
  15. WannabeNewton

    Sagnac effect and gyroscopes

    As you may already know, given a time-like congruence describing some extended body with world-tube ##\mu## embedded in space-time, there are various different characterizations of what it means for this extended body to be non-rotating. Of particular interest for me is the setting of...
  16. atyy

    Fermi-Walker transport and gyroscopes

    In GR, the geodesic equation for a test particle can be seen in 2 ways. (1) It is a fundamental postulate consistent with the EP that is experimentally verified. (2) It is derived from more fundamental postulates such as the Hilbert action with minimally coupled matter as an approximation...
  17. W

    MEMS Gyroscopes vs Accelerometers - When to use each?

    I am designing a motion tracking device and just discovered that there exists solid-state gyroscopes. My question is simply "What is the benefit or application of the MEMS Gyroscope compared with a solid state accelerometer?" As far as I can tell, the accelerometer and the gyroscope can be...
  18. P

    Gyroscopes and the torque required for precession

    Homework Statement The Hubble Space Telescope is stabilized to within an angle of about 2 millionths of a degree by means of a series of gyroscopes that spin at 1.92×10^4 rpm. Although the structure of these gyroscopes is actually quite complex, we can model each of the gyroscopes as a...
  19. G

    Effects of Multiple Gyroscopes in Defined Configurations

    I have 2 gyroscopes that are aligned on a common plane. The first one is larger than the second and the second resides inside the first. The first one is proportionately less dense to account for it's size and therefore, both discs have the same kinetic energy. Also both gyroscopes are attached...
  20. O

    Any ideas of how gyroscopes are applied in environment?

    I am writing an STSE and of course the last section is the environment section. I suck at this part because sometimes it's hard for me to connect to all categories. So how does a gyroscope relate with the environment? If you know of a small topic on this, please let me know and I can just go...
  21. U

    The Role of Gyroscopes in Ship Motion: Understanding the Basic Concept

    I've understood the basic idea of why a gyroscope behaves as it does-- which is easily demonstrated by spinning a bicycle wheel about an axis and the exterting a turning couple to rotate the entire wheel about an axis perp. to the axis of spinning...I got the explanation from...
  22. O

    Where do I find information about gyroscopes?

    I'm doing a physics fair on gyroscopes but I absolutely can not find good organized information. I looked up almost every link from a google search but most sites are crappy. I even looked in 2 libraries but no books are found. How can this be? I thought gyroscopes have been out for a long...
  23. F

    Understanding Gyroscopic Effect: Changes in Angular Momentum in Rotating Objects

    when a rotating wheel precesses about an axis as in a motorcycle taking a turn it experiences a force in the upward direcion. I've read in my book that this gyroscopic effect takes place due to the principle of conservation of angular momentum.it says the angular momentum changes due to the...
  24. Z

    Do massive objects in space act as gyroscopes?

    I just learned about gyroscopes and their precision this year in Physics. I was just curious since massive objects in space tend to rotate around their own axes and have considerable gravitational forces, do they have a precision movement? I understand the momentum vector will naturally want...
  25. F

    Gyroscopes for Orienting Submarines

    I am considering the use of gyroscopes to provide 3 dof attitude control of underwater craft, similar to how control moment gyroscopes have been used in the attitude control systems of satellites. It is hoped that this could replace the standard rudder configuration to minimize effects to the...
  26. W

    Rotation of Angular Velocity with Gyroscopes

    Homework Statement As part of a senior design project, I am trying to figure out the global orientation of a gyroscope (i.e. the three angles of rotation around the global X, Y, and Z axes to realign the local x, y, and z axes of the gyro with the global axes). The gyroscope gives the...
  27. V

    How does the coriolis effect contribute to the precession of gyroscopes?

    How does the coriolis effect have role in the precession of gyroscopes?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precession" In the torque-induced precession section, it says masses move due to the coriolis effect, but it happens only in rotating frames. I would want an explanation on why a torque...
  28. J

    Gyroscopes, moment of inertia, rotational energy and friction.

    Homework Statement A gyroscope consists of a solid disk of diameter 1m and mass 100kg mounted on an axis passing through the center of mass of the disk. (a) Calculate the moment of inertia of the disk about its rotational axis. (b) What is the kinetic energy of rotation of the disk if its...
  29. F

    Thinking of writing a research paper on Gyroscopes

    Hi everyone Long time since i posted something. (May be i have posted at the wrong place, Doc Al...feel free to move it) I am in my first year... Basically i will have to start writing research papers from the next year... But i am really interested to start from the first year... I...
  30. S

    Driving Gyroscopes: Systems for Keeping Disks Spinning

    So I understand the applications of gyroscopes for measuring changes in orientation and the like. However, I always have struggled with the fact that the rotating disk in the gyroscope will eventually have to come to rest thanks to friction forces. This brings me to the assumption that there...
  31. F

    What is meant by scale factor for gyroscopes.

    hello.i'm looking at data for gyroscopes, because i need to find one that's very accurate to within a degree. there are two items that might describe it the way i see it: bias or scale factor... I'm not sure which one would tell me what I need to know. I've tried to Google for definitions, but...
  32. M

    Gyroscopes feel lighter when spinning

    Ok...I cannot remember where I had seen it...I believe it was in a science book in high school because I remember a picture being associated with it. It went something like this: Some famous physicist/scientist had a very heavy gyroscope at the end of a long metal rod. He could not lift...
  33. P

    Can a 3-axis gyroscope assembly resist movement in all directions?

    Hi everyone, 1st post on this forum and I have a question about gyroscopes I have noticed that a gyroscope wheel if spinning rapidly will resist motion along the plane of the axis or spindle of the spinning wheel. For example if the wheel is horizontal and you try to move it in a vertical...
  34. R

    How Is the Direction of Gyroscope Precession Determined?

    Hi, It asks me to state whether the direction of the gyroscope precession is clockwise or counterclockwise (see attachment). I am confused as to how they determined from the top view (on the left) that the direction of angular velocity and angular momentum were pointing towards the left...
  35. Z

    Gyroscopes: Can Two Masses Stabilize?

    Hey! this is my first post here, and I apologize if it is in the incorrect forum, but I have been banging my head against the wall over this concept and I can't seem to find a straight answer. It concerns gyroscopes. The question is, can two counter-rotating masses on a common spindle...
  36. N

    Unlocking the Science: How Gyroscopes Resist Rotation and Stay Upright

    As the title says, I'm wondering how/why gyroscopes work. Why do they resist being rotated in a direction other than the direction in which they're already being rotated, and why don't they fall down?
  37. P

    Can anyone recommend a book on laser ring gyroscopes?

    I'm looking for a text that goes into detail on the workings of laser ring gyroscopes. If it also included information on fiber optic gyroscopes that would be a bonus. I have looked a bit, however either my "googleing skills" aren't up to par or it's way too specific/fringe a subject. Any...
  38. E

    Why Do Gyroscopes *Start* Precessing?

    I was thinking about gyroscopes to me, and it became apparent that I'm really not comfortable with why a gyroscope attached to a pivot, with its axis parallel to the ground, doesn't swing about the pivot like a pendulum. I remembered learning something to the effect that it has to do with the...
  39. W

    Function of Gyroscopes: Spinning Indefinitely

    I know the function of gyroscopes and the way a disc always spin perpendicularly to a moving axis. My question is, when a gyroscope is not spinning perpendicularly to the ground, how does it still keep on spinning indefinitely since friction now affects the mechanism?
  40. B

    Gyroscopes as navigational devices

    In the context of Newtonian mechanics, why are gyroscopes good navigational instruments? What is the best shape for a gyroscope?
  41. A

    Gyroscopes for direct stabilization of aircraft

    Is it possible to use big gyroscopes to directly control yaw, pitch and rotation of aircraft? Let's make the assumption that the system must be able to produce a specific moment (force couple) for an arbitrary length of time, without the power necessary to do so increasing. An example...
  42. marcus

    Question re GP-3 orbiting gyroscopes test of relativity

    http://einstein.stanford.edu/ this is the website for "GravityProbe B" the test of General Relativity using orbiting gyroscopes someone told me that GP-B is already flying but at this site it says that shipment to Vandenburg for launch is scheduled for June 26, 2003. Does anyone know...