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30 April 2017 00:11

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Question

Asked by: Jenny Jenkins
Subject: Why is a gyroscope's precession fastest at 45 degrees?
Question: I did an experiment in which I varied the starting angle of elevation of a gyroscope. I noticed that at 45 degrees, the precessional period (amount of time to perform one spin) is the lowest, while at 0 degrees and 75 degrees, the precessional period is the highest. If I plotted this on a graph, it looks somewhat like half a sinusoidal curve, with 45 degrees being the minimum.

Keep in mind that the starting angular frequency of the rotor/wheel in the gyroscope is always the same in the beginning.

I just want to know why a gyroscope tends to spin faster at 45 degrees.
Date: 1 February 2015
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Answers (Ordered by Date)


Answer: Glenn Hawkins - 29/04/2015 02:26:25
 Hello Jenny,
The shaft of an overhung gyroscope is a lever. The greater leverage (pry bar) occurs as the shaft lengthens. Imagine turning over a rock with a pole short or long-- that is the same principle.

Gravity is vertical and so the distance of the shaft from gyro to the pivot cone (straight down) increases and decreases toward and from 90 degrees straight out..

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