A Conversation for Gyroscopes

Gyroscope also Nutates

Post 1


In addition to precession, a spinning body under the influence of gravity, such as a gyroscope also may 'nutate' or wobble, like a spinning top toy may begin to do as it slows down. In precession alone, the spinning axis traces the path of a small circle. In the unbalanced case, it may also wobble, and the wobble may be caused by any number of interactions which begin a dampened or undampened sinusoidal path traced by the axis of rotation.

Because angular momentum is conserved for such systems, and because angular momentum is a vector quantity, it is important to note that both the direction and magnitude are conserved. This explains why something like a gyroscope tries to maintain the direction of its axis of rotation. The reason it cannot do so when acted upon by external forces is easily explained by an application of simple rotational dynamics. It's only "weird" if you don't study physics.

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Gyroscope also Nutates

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