# Function of Gyroscopes: Spinning Indefinitely

• Werg22
In summary, a gyroscope won't keep spinning indefinitely if it is not perpendicular to the ground. Friction will play a part in slowing it down.
Werg22
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?

It doesn't.

If this gyroscope is not powered (as with toy gyroscopes), friction will play its part in slowing down the disc. If the gyroscope is powered (as with most gyroscopes with a practical purpose) then the motor provides the force needed to overcome the friction in the bearings.

But if it is perpendicular to the ground it theorically never stops right?

Werg22 said:
But if it is perpendicular to the ground it theorically never stops right?

Theoretically, if no force opposes the motion, then it will keep going. However, you'll always have some friction in the bearings and some air resistance slowing things down.

Yeah, but the centripetal force also causes friction between the disc and and the bar so it won't spin indefinitely, no?

I don't know what you're asking.

It doesn't keep on going forever, because of friction. It will not spin indefinitely.

I mean ignoring air friction, there is friction between the disc and the bar caused by the centripetal force...

Werg22 said:
I mean ignoring air friction, there is friction between the disc and the bar caused by the centripetal force...

Yes! There is!

Werg22 said:
But if it is perpendicular to the ground it theorically never stops right?

Not really. When you take friction into account, the gyroscope eventually stops. The orientation of the gyroscope really doesn't matter (I'm not sure why you think it's important).

Because gravity will have a component in the spinning direction.

no mechanical toy that i know of will go forever. friction is like the grinch or whatever. same in your gyroscope.

does anyone know how they work...?

## 1. What is a gyroscope?

A gyroscope is a device that consists of a spinning wheel or disc that is mounted on a set of gimbals (rings) and is used to maintain orientation and stability in various objects, such as ships, airplanes, and spacecraft.

## 2. How does a gyroscope spin indefinitely?

A gyroscope spins indefinitely due to the principle of conservation of angular momentum. As long as there is no external torque or force acting on the gyroscope, the spinning motion will continue in the same direction and at the same speed.

## 3. What are the applications of gyroscopes?

Gyroscopes have a wide range of applications, including navigation systems, motion sensors, and stabilization devices. They are also used in robotics, virtual reality devices, and smartphones.

## 4. How does a gyroscope aid in maintaining stability?

A gyroscope's spinning motion creates a force known as angular momentum, which resists any changes in the orientation or position of the device. This allows objects to maintain stability and balance by counteracting external forces.

## 5. Can a gyroscope ever stop spinning?

In theory, a gyroscope can spin indefinitely as long as there is no external torque or force acting on it. However, in reality, there are factors such as friction and air resistance that can slow down and eventually stop a gyroscope's spinning motion.

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