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Spinning wheels and gyroscopic antigravity


Jackissimus
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Today my father told me about a physical fact that I, quite surprisingly, never heard about. He told me that when he was a small kid he would remove a wheel from his bicycle, and while holding the hub with his hand he would spin the wheel to test for friction. And he found out that he could easily let the hub just rest on his hand and the wheel would remain upright. The idea seemed ludicrous to me and I refused to believe him. So I tried to search youtube for this effect and here it is:

Quite ashamed that I was so uneducated I searched further and learned about a professor called Eric Laithwaite, who apparently did a lot of work on this. He also claimed that spinning objects could in fact be lifted more easily and this could be used in space propulsion. He was quite famous for his work on linear induction motors at that time (he is sometimes called "the father of maglev trains"), so at first his discovery created quite a sensation, but then his claims about defying newton's laws discredited him into obscurity. This is a video of him showing how spinning makes objects lighter (around the 2:38 mark):

What really happens is that the prof is hurrying the precession and thus the flywheel is forced upward.

P.S. Fun fact - at one time, NASA became interested in his work, but mostly in his linear induction motor. They funded him to develop what we now call the mass driver.

P.P.S Fun fact number two - NASA also assessed his work on gyroscopic antigravity as part of their Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project and you can see the comments here (page 8) and here.

Disclaimer: I just wanted to share, for me it's fun to read about things that seem impossible. No law breaking is shown here.

Edited by Jackissimus
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Gyroscopic effect is nothing but conservation of angular momentum. It's a well-known principle which is entirely understood.

On the topic of gravity, there are some interesting effects, the extreme limits of which is the rotating black hole, but on any practically achievable scale, these effects are too weak to have any application.

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Gyroscopic effect is nothing but conservation of angular momentum.

Yep, the prof is a crackpot, I can see it. Anyways, it was a fun afternoon and I wanted to share...

It's interesting that by hurrying the precession he was able to lift the thing so easily, almost as if defying gravity. It obviously confused scientists as late as 1989 - www.nytimes.com/1989/12/28/us/two-men-and-a-gyroscope-may-rewrite-newton-s-law.html

Just one more video, obviously I am not the only one who likes to test things :)

Edited by Jackissimus
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So what you're saying is that when my rocket starts spinning wildly out of control, it's actually the ASAS being very clever and helping me get to orbit?

Eh, not if it was attached to a frictionless shaft. Did the prof spin when he held the gyroscope?

Anyways, I just wanted to post some fun videos...

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The guy is clearly out of his mind. Gyroscopes have to do with "antigravity" as much as my arm has to do with it when I lift it. I'm doing the "anti" to gravity. Ta-da...

Rotating weird things usually attract looney people like shiny things attract certain animals. :)

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