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Thread: Would a spinning gyroscope change angles if taken 1/4 around the globe?

  1. #1 Would a spinning gyroscope change angles if taken 1/4 around the globe? 
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    For instance.... If you take an electric spinning gyroscope pointing straight up from the N Pole to the equator, would it remain pointing straight up at the equator, or would it point horizontal?
    Also, does the spinning of the earth affect the angle of a stationary spinning gyroscope?


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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    If in orbit, you are constantly falling straight down and forward. So it would not be the same as holding a gyroscope in your hand and simulating that.


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    Actually, it would not be necessary to take the spinning gyroscope 1/4 way around the globe since the globe is already spinning.
    Since a spinning gyroscope stays in the same position in space, it should "appear" to be moving as the earth rotates 90 degrees every 6 hours at the equator.
    I have seen several Youtube videos showing that the spinning gyroscope does not change any directions after several hours.
    Why doesn't the gyroscope appear to change direction?
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    A gyroscope doesn't change direction, because it spins freely on its axis, once set in position it will point there without changing directions. This is because of the mechanism of its built which allows it to resist motion by spinning on its axis. The way they can change direction while moving freely is when they move in an already wrapped spacetime, which actually was an experiment proposed and carried out to falsify Einsteins GR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy View Post
    Actually, it would not be necessary to take the spinning gyroscope 1/4 way around the globe since the globe is already spinning.
    Since a spinning gyroscope stays in the same position in space, it should "appear" to be moving as the earth rotates 90 degrees every 6 hours at the equator.
    I have seen several Youtube videos showing that the spinning gyroscope does not change any directions after several hours.
    Why doesn't the gyroscope appear to change direction?
    There most likely explanation is the friction of the gyroscope mounts. If you try to change the rotation axis of a spinning object, it will resist you. How much force you need to apply to overcome this resistance depends on how quickly you are attempting to change the axis. At a rate of 90 degrees in 6 hours, the static friction of mounts is going to be the greater of these two forces for any readily available gyroscope.
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    So obviously, the energy of the resistance of the axis of rotation to change has to come from somewhere. From playing with fidget spinners, I'm pretty sure the energy comes from the rotation. Is there a deep mathematical/symmetry reason for this?
    I've observed with a fidget spinner that when spinning one direction, if flipped over appears to now spin the other direction.
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    Change angle relative to what? Relative to the surface of the Earth - with some caveats about placement and orientation - the gyroscope should appear to change orientation whilst it actually retains a stable orientation relative to space around the moving Earth. It is the surface of the Earth that is changing orientation whilst the gyroscope's orientation doesn't change. What would happen should be like a version of Foucault's pendulum experiment which used a pendulum swing - part circles - in place of a gyroscope - full circles. (edit added - same underlying phenomena, but because a pendulum's axis isn't entirely independent of surface orientation - or more correctly, gravity's orientation - it isn't quite equivalent, but does still provide the experimental evidence (with some deductions needed) that it's changing apparent orientation is a response to the Earth surface changing orientation.)

    Equatorial placement with axis of rotation parallel to the Earth's axis - North-South - for example, would nullify this appearance of changing orientation, as it would - up-down orientiation - at the poles. Or near to it, given that the Earth wobbles about a bit on it's axis.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; July 15th, 2017 at 05:46 PM.
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