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Will this gyroscope spin forever?

  1. Jul 12, 2015 #1
    I have been learning about precession lately.
    Suppose there is a pole with a rope on it (like the things they used to hang people), and there is a wheel hung on the rope. The wheel spins and it precesses around the rope, now suppose there are no air friction or friction within the system, will the wheel keep spinning and precessing until the end of the universe? Or will the kinetic energy in the wheel be used to cancel out the effect of gravity like a helicopter uses fuel to stay afloat even without moving anywhere?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    In the absence of forces to dissipate the energy and momentum of the gyroscope, it will continue to precess forever.
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