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19 August 2019 09:37

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Asked by: David Chipchak
Subject: difference between virtcal or horizontal flywheel spinning on a shaft
Question: Hi, I was wondering how gravity affects a flywheel when spinning on a vertical shaft opposed to it spinning on a horizontal shaft. Assuming that the flywheel is balanced and all other conditions are the same.
Thanks for the help,
Date: 28 May 2004
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Answer: webmaster@gyroscopes.org - 30/05/2004 15:34:24
 Forgetting about air movement, earth rotating and other forces etc. If a flywheel is place so the axle is vertical and it spins at high speed it will remain upright with no visiable movement (assuming the flywheel is perfect).

If the same flywheel is place horizontally and is only supported at one end then the flywheel/gyroscope will rotate (precess) around the point where it is being supported.
This is known as gyroscopic precession.

If the flywheel was supported at both ends precession does not occur. At least not until another force trys to move the gyroscope in certain directions.

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