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2 July 2022 11:23

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Asked by: Brooke Clarke
Subject: North Finding
Question: Hi:

I just got a book that has a collection of the papers of Léon Foucault and have a friend helping me translate them.
I'm trying to get a gyroscope to align it's spin axis with the Earth's spin axis, but so far with no luck.
PS the photo on Wiki of Foucault's setup is incomplete, I have a better one from the UK showing all the parts.


As far as I can tell the gyro axis should be horizontal with a surrounding gimbal that allows the axis to tilt up or down. That gimbal is then suspended by a string allowing the assembly to rotate in azimuth. There may also been the need for a weight on the inner gimbal so that when the gyro is not spinning it's spin axis is horizontal.

Can someone emial me about how to do this?

PS the patents by Elmer Sperry give Foucault a lot of credit, but the problems caused by a moving vehicle are something that Foucault did not get into. It's sort of like the problem with a pendulum clock when used at sea.

To make a self powered gyroscope I'm using flywheels I had made and DC motors:

Have Fun,


Date: 14 August 2015
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