“Why does gyroscope levitate?” stumps 3 physics profs

In summary, the conversation discusses the question of why a spinning gyroscope remains horizontal and appears to levitate when suspended on a string, while a non-spinning gyroscope falls. The individual asking the question has searched for an explanation, but has not found a satisfactory one. They have provided a detailed explanation of their thought process and asked for insight into the underlying forces at play. However, the responses suggest that the gyroscope does not truly levitate and that the individual's question may be based on a misunderstanding.
  • #36
LastOneStanding said:
@rcgldrhaving made a mistake, but I think it would be best if you just did so in a post of its own rather than going back and editing all your past posts.
Well the intent was to avoid mis-leading anyone reading those posts with bad information (those mistakes) before continuing on only to find out that those posts were in mistake.

I editted the prevoius post to note the original post had mistakes before the correction and that later quotes were made of the mistaken original post.

What I was thinking of was the effect on the frame that supports the gyroscope. To that frame, the gyroscope is yet another external source of torque and/or forces, and while the gyroscope is in precession and experiences a net torque, the frame that supports the gyroscope does not experience a net torque, because the gyroscope exerts a countering torque onto the frame, but those are torques exerted onto the frame, not onto the gyroscope.
 
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  • #37
cj said:
Sorry for the rant, but a few of us in my group are very cognizant of polite customer service. I think PF needs a jolt of it.
Ask for your money back.
 
  • #38
cj said:
It is disconcerting to have moderators not read the entire post(s). Also, simply posting links to sources isn't exactly a value-added service (especially since we clearly said we visited all the usual suspect sites).
Mea culpa. I should have stayed out. rcgldr's post was good and posted at the same time as mine (I didn't see it until after I posted). It didn't seem to me that you guys got that precession was the phenomena you were viewing, but for whatever reason I didn't say that -- I might have been short on time.
Do moderators actually get paid for this kind of service?
No, we are all voluteers.
Lastly, getting hung up on arcane definitions ("levitate") that are not germane to the real issue is off-putting, as is terse/sarcastic/rude responses. This is true for anyone, and it's especially true for moderators.

Lastly, for the umpteenth time we jokingly used the term "...stumped the internet." If you can't sense this, then either get out and socialize more, and simply ignore it. I mean, really?

Sorry for the rant, but a few of us in my group are very cognizant of polite customer service. I think PF needs a jolt of it.
Those are on Farina. Definitions matter quite a lot in science, and attitude matters in conversation. We're all human here: When people detect an attitude from a poster, they sometimes respond back with it. So starting the thread off better would have led to better results -- and this threat was at risk of being locked without an adequate answer because of it. We never approach a thread/new poster intending to be mean, but at the same time this isn't a restaruant where we have to take abuse from "customers" no matter what. That's something you guys are going to need to learn: it may be unpleasant to hear that you are wrong sometimes, but in the real world, people are going to tell you bluntly and if you refuse to accept it, treat you roughly.
 
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Likes mheslep
  • #39
rcgldr said:
Well the intent was to avoid mis-leading anyone reading those posts with bad information (those mistakes) before continuing on only to find out that those posts were in mistake.
I find it a good practice in such cases to use the s and /s tags to mark the error without deleting the context.
 
  • #40
cj said:
This is very helpful - thank you.

You're welcome.

cj said:
Lastly, getting hung up on arcane definitions ("levitate") that are not germane to the real issue is off-putting, as is terse/sarcastic/rude responses.

The levitation argument was entirely on Farina. She misused a term, was informed so, and rather than accepting the correction she dug her heels in. She continued to insist on using non-standard, confusing terminology and started giving an enormous amount of attitude. Perhaps some other posters took it too far in response, but the tone of this thread was, in the first, place set by Farina.
 
  • #41
I think many of us take a different view. You might not realize this but a very sizable number (at least most of our fellow students here) shy away from PF. The consensus here seems to say getting a helpful response is not worth the snarky-ness one has to endure (we have social media for that ;)). For me, I'll take a right answer and pay for it via absorbing less-than-cordial responses. I might be, though, in the minority. A lot of people seem to go to Khan, MIT, etc. There seems to be a happier vibe there. I think Farina was obstinate, and the moderator was less than professional, i.e. condescending/combative. Again, this is the polite customer service gene acting up in me.

At any rate, thank you again.
LastOneStanding said:
You're welcome.
The levitation argument was entirely on Farina. She misused a term, was informed so, and rather than accepting the correction she dug her heels in. She continued to insist on using non-standard, confusing terminology and started giving an enormous amount of attitude. Perhaps some other posters took it too far in response, but the tone of this thread was, in the first, place set by Farina.
 
  • #42
Sounds like the scientific question is answered and now we are just arguing over style.

I personally will take your feedback into consideration in the future, although I am not sure what the best approach is. Possibly I should have simply deleted the OP.
 

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