Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

When a gyroscope precesses, what is pushing it along?

  1. Jul 7, 2015 #1
    This is the kind of gyroscope that I am talking about: U52006_01_1200_1200_Gyroscope.jpg
    Where did the kinetic energy of precession come from? The gyroscope's spinning angular inertia? If so, how does it transfer into the precession? Is a torque applied horizontally (along the x-y plane) when the system is under the effect of gravity? If so, why? If such torque is present, is it constant or does it reduces as the precession speed increases?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 7, 2015 #2
  4. Jul 7, 2015 #3
  5. Jul 7, 2015 #4

    Drakkith

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    What doesn't work? The link? It works fine for me.
     
  6. Jul 8, 2015 #5

    rcgldr

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Someone or something has to initally impart the rotation needed to match the speed of precession for the gyroscope to remain exactly horizontal. If the gyroscope is just released, there is a transition where the gyroscope tilts down a bit, converting gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy related to precession. The precession related torque is instant, but the reaction is delayed by a small amount. In an idealized case, the gyroscope would cycle down and up while the rate of precession would increase and decrease, and the total energy would remain constant.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: When a gyroscope precesses, what is pushing it along?
  1. Gyroscope precession (Replies: 4)

  2. Gyroscopic Precession (Replies: 1)

Loading...