Can a gyroscope lift a fulcrum (and itself), hinged to the floor?

In summary, the conversation discusses an experimental idea involving using a gyroscope to exert forces onto a lever. The idea is to have a lever with a motorized rotatable frame and a gyroscope mounted on it, and then activate the motor to try to tilt the gyroscope downwards. The conversation also mentions the concept of precession and the possibility of gaining height by rolling the ball up a slope. The individual asks for help understanding the principles of the experiment and whether it is worth conducting. They also clarify that they are not trying to achieve antigravity.
  • #1
some bloke
278
98
This is a purely experimental idea which I would like some help understanding A) whether it can work and B) how best to understand the mechanics of the act.

Firstly, my limited understanding of gyroscopes is that a stable gyroscope will (effectively) attempt to remain at the same angle if it is subjected to a force - as evidenced when people balance gyros with their centers of mass well off the balance point.

The following idea works in my mind, and I'm curious as to whether it does in practice:

We start with a lever, which is lying horizontally with a hinge fixing it at the end (preventing twisting actions, only allowing up & down movement). At the freely moving end, there is a motor which rotates a bed in the same axis as the hinge - so if the lever is lifted, the motor can be used to keep the bed level, or rotate it further, as I expect would be necessary. it can rotate freely in the same axis as the fulcrum, and is powered. Then a gyroscope is mounted (with a vertical axis of rotation) on the bed and spun up to a high speed, with a motor to keep it going.

With this set up, the motor is then activated to try and tilt the gyroscope downwards. The gyro resists this motion, causing the lever to lift up (and a corresponding drop in speed from the gyro, as energy is conserved).I first thought about this years ago after mucking around with a power ball gyro arm strengthener, and feeling the pull on my limbs as I attempted to twist the gyro around. I never thought it would have any practical application, but now I have an idea and I would like to know if there's any scope for me experimenting with this, or if my thoughts are all way off!

Some research has given me examples of precession, where a force is generated to make the gyroscope rotate around the vertical axis instead of falling down, but everything I can find relies on the gyroscope being free and untethered, and I can find very little to do with moving things using gyroscopes.

To explain further the thought train that led to this idea:

• Gyroscopes exert a force opposing a change to their axis of rotation
• If you put a gyroscope on a motorized rotatable frame inside a ball, and then had the ball try to rotate the gyroscope, the ball would roll instead as the gyroscope remained level. (is this true?)
• If you then put that ball on a slope, it could roll up the slope, so gaining height is possible (and would probably slow the gyroscope down to balance the equation)
• If the ball wasn't round, it would still try to rotate, so going to the extremes, I am thinking a straight lever lying flat.

Any information, links or videos you can offer me to better understand this would be brilliant. The short of the question isn't about exact numbers, it's just whether it would work at all! If the answer is yes, the next bit is what happens if the lever isn't attached with a hinge - would it stand up on end, or just roll over!

As for the "why use a gyroscope" questions and "what are you trying to achieve", I'm keeping my project itself close to my chest (the internet is, after all, freely accessed) so please help me to understand the principles of this experiment and whether it's worth conducting!

Thanks!
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
Interesting question. Could you post a sketch of your proposed setup? It's a little hard to understand it with just the word description. Use the "Attach files" link below the Edit window to upload a PDF or JPEG version of your sketch. Thanks.

1615903608378.png

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/...tes/222/2014/12/20103618/Figure_11_07_04a.jpg
 
  • #3
I have made some very bad sketches on paint, as I haven't access to a scanner!
gyrofulcrum.png

This is the premise - the gyroscope is at one end and is rotated by the motor (M) as per the arrow above. the right hand side is fixed by a hinge to a large, immovable object (here being the ground).

would this action cause this to happen:
(please excuse my terrible paint skills!)
gyrofulcrum2.png


I suspect the gyro would end up tilted slightly as it will not perfectly resist the motion, but this is the premise.

Thanks!

(edit - I just want to absolutely clarify before anyone jumps on this that I'm not trying to make antigravity whatsoever, I am trying to exert forces onto a lever! I know Gyroscopes have something of a reputation for luring people into the proverbial bogs of antigravity and abandoning them!)
 
  • #4
some bloke said:
I have made some very bad sketches on paint, as I haven't access to a scanner!
View attachment 279852
This is the premise - the gyroscope is at one end and is rotated by the motor (M) as per the arrow above. the right hand side is fixed by a hinge to a large, immovable object (here being the ground).

I would say in order to make that working you would need an additional axis parallel to the lever, that the gyroscope axis can rotate around.

Edit: Maybe something like this
gyro.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • #5
some bloke said:
I have made some very bad sketches on paint, as I haven't access to a scanner!
View attachment 279852
This is the premise - the gyroscope is at one end and is rotated by the motor (M) as per the arrow above. the right hand side is fixed by a hinge to a large, immovable object (here being the ground).

would this action cause this to happen:
(please excuse my terrible paint skills!)
View attachment 279853

I suspect the gyro would end up tilted slightly as it will not perfectly resist the motion, but this is the premise.
If think the motor torque on the gyro should be perpendicular to both: the spin axis and the desired rotation axis for the spin axis.
 
  • #6
 
  • Love
Likes hutchphd
  • #7
Have a good Google for "gyrostabilizers". Older, or cheaper, systems use the energy of the flywheel only, but the newer "active" ones can rotate the gyro itself to control the stabilising movement, in the manner of your device.

Seakeeper (link) is a popular brand of active boat gyrostabilizer that you can easily find lots of information on. Another place you might find them is camera rigs. Military weapons and spacecraft would also incorporate them but they are harder to buy.
 
  • #8
Thankyou all for your replies! That cube is a very good example that my goals could be possible, though it appears to rely on braking and accelerating the gyro rather than rotating it, so I will have to do some experimenting on accelerating and braking a gyro as well as on trying to change its axis of rotation.

Thanks!
 
  • Like
Likes hutchphd
  • #9

Related to Can a gyroscope lift a fulcrum (and itself), hinged to the floor?

1. Can a gyroscope lift a fulcrum?

Yes, a gyroscope has the ability to lift a fulcrum. This is due to the principle of conservation of angular momentum, which states that a spinning object will resist any external force that tries to change its axis of rotation.

2. Can a gyroscope lift itself?

Yes, a gyroscope can lift itself. This is because the spinning motion of the gyroscope creates a force that acts in the opposite direction of gravity, allowing it to lift off the ground.

3. Can a gyroscope lift a fulcrum and itself at the same time?

Yes, a gyroscope can lift a fulcrum and itself at the same time. This is because the spinning motion of the gyroscope creates a force that acts in the opposite direction of gravity, allowing it to lift both the fulcrum and itself off the ground.

4. How does a gyroscope lift a fulcrum and itself?

A gyroscope lifts a fulcrum and itself by utilizing the principle of conservation of angular momentum. As the gyroscope spins, it creates a force that acts in the opposite direction of gravity, allowing it to lift off the ground.

5. Are there any limitations to a gyroscope's ability to lift a fulcrum and itself?

Yes, there are limitations to a gyroscope's ability to lift a fulcrum and itself. The weight and size of the gyroscope, as well as the speed of its spinning motion, can affect its lifting capabilities. Additionally, external factors such as friction and air resistance can also impact the gyroscope's ability to lift off the ground.

Similar threads

Replies
0
Views
548
  • Mechanics
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
33
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
2K
  • Special and General Relativity
Replies
20
Views
2K
  • Classical Physics
Replies
10
Views
1K
Replies
23
Views
1K
Replies
19
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
1K
Replies
67
Views
21K
Back
Top