The Money Shot!

368(8): The Analytical Mechanics of Torque in a Gyroscope

January 25, 2017

In this note it is shown that a gyroscope can be weightless under condition (40). The three torques in frame (1, 2, 3) of the principal moments of inertia can be worked out from the Euler angles as shown. This is too complicated to be done by hand, but can be done by computer algebra. The torque magnitudes in frames (1, 2, 3) and the lab frame (X, Y, Z) are related by Eq. (28). As is well known, the gyro does not fall over because it generates an upward force which can be defined in terms of the torques of frame (1, 2, 3) as in Eq. (32). Finally, in certain configurations such as that demonstrated by Laithwaite, the gyro appears weightless. This is very useful in mechanical engineering and probably in aerospace engineering.”

Oh yes, that is the quote which will sink you. Generations from now, people will be attributing it to ‘that loony who – unbelievably – received a civil-list pension until the authorities realized their mistake’. You know, the great mathematicians of the past had no difficulty with hand calculations; have you never seen the ones which revealed the existence of Neptune and told astronomers where to look? All of the forces acting on a spinning-top are couples. That ‘says it all’; no antigravity and no propulsion. Spinning objects have nevertheless been useful in engineering for over 100 years. Isn’t that depressing? Mankind played with peg-tops for millennia. About 200 years ago, mankind finally invented the gyroscope (and the ‘cut-down’ version which is popularly called a gyroscope). And even then it took another 100 years for mankind to find important applications for the true gyroscope. As for aerospace use, they are handy for reorienting satellites. But stupidity still reigns: there is at least one Boeing engineer who thinks that they can propel satellites. Better fly Airbus. Oh no, there is a chief project-engineer at Airbus who thinks that centrifugal force can propel spacecraft. And as for NASA and BAe, and their crackpot-inspired antigravity projects …


One Response to “The Money Shot!”

  1. Harry Hab Says:

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for the UK government to own up their mistakes in the matters of (1) The Iraq invasion (2) Brexit (3) Awarding MWE a civil list pension….

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