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Asked by: Nate
Subject: Another look at Laithwaites gyro experiment
Question: An interesting test...


Date: 8 March 2018
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Answers (Ordered by Date)

Answer: Glenn Hawkins - 10/03/2018 01:44:10
 Very good Nate. Thank you.

The experimenter did not under the simple premise. The gyro rose in Professor Laithwaite's hand not because he lifted the gyroscope, but because he pushed in in a circle. There is no new, or defining information learned from his elaborate set up.

The next experimenter added nothing new.


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Answer: Nate - 16/03/2018 20:42:34
 These guys took an unusual approach to the math...


Anybody checking their math???

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Answer: Nate - 16/03/2018 20:43:24
 These guys took an unusual approach to the math...


Anybody checking their math???

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Answer: Nate - 16/03/2018 20:43:58
 These guys took an unusual approach to the math...
Anybody checking their math???

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Answer: Nate - 16/03/2018 20:44:52

= A new look at the math.

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Answer: Nitro - 21/03/2018 20:00:30
 Hi Nate

It is not an interesting test – it still wouldn’t be if it was a correct copy of Laithwaite’s demonstration, which it isn’t. Laithwaite was so close on many things but was clearly wrong on the idea that precession makes mass (called weight on earth) reduce.

for your information I copy, below, the response I put on the YouTube site:-

Hi Joe (is it Joe? My hearing – along with most everything, is failing - I couldn’t hear your name on your video)

Neat experiment but, sadly, until you can learn how to observe properly you will repeat the mistakes of almost all scientists, and many nutters in sheds (yes, I am one), by carrying out experiments that are not representative of the forced precession shown in that particular Laithwaite demonstration.

Laithwaite though great, was wrong in his suggestion that weight of the gyro would reduce by swinging a gyro round his body. I’m sure, after he pushed it horizontally, it felt like it got lighter because he only needed to lean back against the pull of centrifugal force (I know you science guys hate to use centrifugal in this way) instead of having to twist its great weight upwards with just his wrist, as would be necessary if it were a non rotating mass. After the initial two handed horizontal acceleration, a light horizontal force, easily applied by the wrist, maintains the forced precession that is needed to appear to create the lift. As mentioned by AntdavisionNZ, below the you tube video, your rig, unlike Laithwaite’s, does not force precess anything and by mechanically lifting the gyro in your test you are actually causing precession in a totally wrong direction. A test fail I’m sorry to say.


And also remember that “Nitro’s third law” modifies Newton’s third to read:- To every force there is an equal force – the word “opposite” being, as it always has been, redundant.

Kind regards for trying anyway
Nitro MacMad

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Answer: Sandy - 22/03/2018 21:22:53
 Good evening Nitro,
You are beginning to sound like Fisher, who said that it was just a party trick.
Some party trick?
All I can say is try it, and if you do not crush your toes, or break your ankles, I will believe you.
BTW Eric Laithwaite said it lost weight, he never ever said why.

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Answer: Sandy - 22/03/2018 23:18:48
 To keep the record up to date.
This is my reply to Ithica College Physics demonstration
“Is a spinning gyroscope weightless”

If the experiment had been done correctly, you would have discovered that there is no weight loss in the system anyway, during the forced rotation of the spinning wheel.
Seems to me that if a spinning wheel is forcibly rotated it is immediately called precession.
I will refrain from calling this precession because in this case it is not.
The system in Laithwaite’s case was the man himself, and the gyroscope or large wheel mounted on a long shaft.
During forced rotation of the system there is no change in the weight of the system.
The gyroscope has the ability to transfer part or all of its weight to act vertically downwards through the centre of system rotation i.e. through Eric Laithwaite’s body.
The amount of weight transferred is directly proportional to the rotation speed of the gyroscope or alternatively to the rotation speed of the system, or if you must a combination of both.
So much for conservation.

Let me say first of all that I had the opportunity to repeat Eric Laitwaite’s demonstration in the Heavy Electrical lab of the Imperial College, London rotating the same flywheel.
This would be around 1985 or 1986.
The apparent loss of weight was noted.
I then built a device to find out what was going on.
I explained all of this in the forum of Gyroscopes.org in 2004.
Wasted my time ever since, methinks.

I slightly modified the machine seen in YouTube, “Anti-Gravity Machine (Part One)” which was under review by Dundee University and proceeded to demonstrate what was really happening to 3 “scientists” in the local university
They said it was impossible and that was all.
They treated the result as if nothing had happened.
None are so blind.
Who needs a degree?
The machine I demonstrated in the local university was very similar to my YouTube demonstration “Antigravity Machine (Part 3).
It is pretty obvious what is going on.
All my machines have been offered and been available for examination by “scientists”, I use the word loosely.
Nobody has ever been interested.

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Answer: Nitro - 23/03/2018 14:58:38
 Hi Sandy,

God forbid that I should end up as closed minded as Prof. Dave Fisher, though his sad video (now removed from you tube) after the death of his Dad showed that, contrary to popular belief, he is in fact human.

I was perhaps more scathing than necessary about the videoed test by Ithica College because they were purporting to show why Laithwaites demonstration was false using a totally different GRAVITY precessed gyro arrangement. Laithwaites conclusion to his FORCE precessed demonstration was fallacious because he uses two hands to initially accelerate the gyro horizontally.

If you were to get hold of a similar arrangement as Laithwaite’s (please don’t as it is bloody dangerous) and try to launch it ONE HANDED you will realise his errors in interpretation were caused by overenthusiasm leading to mistaken belief - Oh! and you will hurt your wrist.

I am currently working on version – er – two thousand and three, it feels. This goes to show that I am still a registered nutter in a shed (nice warm boiler room during the winter actually – but that still counts) and not yet a Dave Fisher. Don’t hold your breath for progress as although being now retired means more time, my age and lack of access to good, and more importantly cheap, engineering means the pace is slow.

Kind regards

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Answer: Glenn Hawkins - 23/03/2018 23:30:14
 During precession, the total force of gravity is deflected through a series of actions upward in the opposite direction of gravity, except for a very small amount used to overcome pedestal and air friction, which gradually uses up energy, which allows the gyroscope gradual decent. Opposite force is what holds the gyroscope from immediately falling. Equal and opposite is always true.
Opposite is necessary. Opposite to the angularity of the collision. Otherwise when you hit your ball with your bat, regardless of the angle, it could go any direction, outward as from a point within a spear. Engineers would go crazy. Your law is not good. Stick to Newton’s perfect law. Your way, when NASA launched the moon mission, it could have as well landed anywhere in sittttthh-hole, Babawana Land, leaving the astronauts to walk around all day trying to pick up space rocks knee deep in sittttthh. They would have been really mad at you.

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Answer: Miklos Somos - 24/03/2018 12:26:01
 Dear All,


Thank You for the link.

I have read the paper. I use the same method to investigate the motion of complex mechanical systems.
I have found some errors and some inconsistencies in the referenced paper.
I will write an email to the author about my findings. Hopefully he would answer me, and we can discuss these problems.


If You are interested, I share here my thoughts about the paper. I will write the same to Mr. Eckardt.

First, I`m glad that there are such papers produced, even if they have errors. I think that the investigation of gyroscopic motion
needs shed dwellers and theory oriented people too. The main requirement for this research is an opened mind.

The first two-third of the paper is mythematically correct and error free.
To this forum and especially to Sandy the figures 6 and 7 can be interesting. In my opinion these figures show the saturation zone.
You can see how the gyro is elevated by the forced precession, and after a degree of elevation it reaches a self-exciting state, that leads to a wild, chaotic
motion on the top. The difference between the figures comes from the difference of the simulated systems. The second one is a gyro, which stands on a spring.
Therefore its motion is somewhat dampened.

The most interesting chapter is the 2.4.2 Free-falling gyro.
Most of the errors are to be found in this chapter. On figure 8. You can see, that a symmetric double gyro is calculated. It can not nutate, because it is assumed,
that the angle of nutation is fixed at 90 degree. Therefore this system has only two degrees of freedom: precession and translation in z-direction.

The first error is the misunderstanding of Sandy`s devices and patents. The author states on page 9, that this is the configuration, that Sandy has used in his inventions.
Sandy, please correct me, if I would be false, but Your device has an additional degree of freedom, it can nutate, or it is forcibly nutated.

The second error, or it would be better to say until I do not know more, an inconsistency can be found on page 10. The equations of motion (26, 27) have some members I do not understand,
and they are not explained. According to my calculation they should not be there. Until this inconsistenciy is not cleared, I do not believe that this system can lift itself, just because
an external moment is applied on it in the direction of precession. My practical experiencies confirm this belief of mine too.

I think that the main root of the errors can be found on page 12, equation 28. There he applies the energy conservation to the potential energies of the system. He states, that potential energies of

the applied external moment and the field of gravity should be in equilibrium. As a consequence, the external moment would be somehow converted into a lifting effect. This statement is obviously

false. The sum of the potential and the kinetic energy is conserved. The external torque accelerates the precession, it does not elevates the system.

The realized system on figure 12 will not lift itself. I think there will be some periodic lift phenomena, which would be caused by the unbalanced rotating parts on the elastic suspension.

According to the paper, the experiment is located near Munich. I live near Munich, if I could, I would visit the guys for a small chat about their machine.



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Answer: Nitro - 24/03/2018 19:51:12
 Hi Miklos

Thank you for the maths input, it is appreciated.

It was figure 12 that made me dismiss the paper. It shows gyros constrained in the horizontal plane which no can produce a large amount of upward (or downward depending on rotations) torque but sod all thrust. Figure 8 purports to be a diagram of Sandy’s machine but, as I understand it his gyros are not constrained but free to ”scissor” so figure 8 is wrong too.

So, without studying the maths (I cannot) the paper seems to be a serious fail. If applying a torque to an assembly could produce lift all you need is a a couple of elastic bands mounted over the centre of the arm pulling the ends upwards (one band if you are mean) and you could save on all the inconvenient rotational stuff. Or they could simply stand in a bucket and lift themselves into the air by pulling on the handle. The paper is a nonsense and a distraction from the true path to understanding. This subject deserves better than this.

Kind regards

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Answer: Glenn Hawkins - 24/03/2018 22:02:50
 This statement is an error: “I do not believe that this system can lift itself, just because
an external moment is applied on it in the direction of precession. My practical experiences confirm this belief of mine too.”
Force from any means applied in the direction of precession causes a gyroscope to tilt upward. In the process, all the counter weight of the gyroscope is torqued directly down upon the fulcrum, in this case the human hand; more precisely, torqued down through a twist in the circle sector of a disk enclosed by two radii and an arc. There is no extended leverage through the shaft applied against the hand, only dead weight applied vertically as the gyroscope lifts itself through tilting due to forced precession—however you want to call it.

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Answer: Sandy - 25/03/2018 20:47:13
 Good evening all,
I would if I may clarify my intentions when constructing and demonstrating the device shown in YouTube “Antigravity Machine Part 3”.
Consider a pair of flywheels, each attached to a separate supporting shaft, and rotated at a fixed rotation speed forcibly by either manual or mechanical means.
The supporting shaft carrying each are horizontal flywheel, is mounted to a vertical shaft at fulcrum point at its other extreme end, such that each flywheel and its supporting shaft can freely rotate in the vertical plane if so desired.
The supporting shafts and gyroscopes are set by such that the rotation axes of the flywheels are in the horizontal plane the flywheels therefore are rotating parallel to the axis of forced rotation.
Assume now that the flywheels are started rotating
Initially no action will be seen.
However, if the flywheel rotation speed is sufficiently fast the flywheels will be seen to rotate inwards and upwards vertically to their point of least action.
If mechanically possible the flywheel axes of rotation will be either at or parallel to the axis of forced rotation.
This makes the forced rotation axis and the flywheel rotation axes one and the same.
I have stated all of this, many times before however I did not at the time add the fact that from the point the flywheels are initially rotated, they have the ability to transfer their weight as their rotation speed is increased piece by piece until none is left.
At this point and for good reasons I called this the “Saturation Point” i.e. where no weight is left to accelerate and the flywheel will climb merrily on its way to its point of least action.
I fitted springs to my demonstration device so that this normally unobserved loss is seen, although it did not go fast enough to reach saturation. saturation.
I was in fact going to build a simple device to demonstrate what happens at what I called the saturation point.
We shall see?

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