Missing the Point

FOR POSTING: UFT368 Sections 1 and 2, and Background Notes

January 26, 2017

This is UFT368 Sections 1 and 2 on the analytical mechanics of the gyroscope. The Laithwaite condition is defined in equation (41).”

All that your pointless and dubious calculation has done is to produce – at best – a result for the familiar, ‘top on a little tower’ situation. Does the tower imagine that the top is weightless? Use a marshmallow tower and see what happens! The only ingredient that Laithwaite added was to ‘hurry-on the precession’ so that the spinning wheel appeared to want to fly away. This effect, sometimes named after Lord Kelvin, has been known about for over 200 years. If that is what you call the ‘Laithwaite condition’, then you have singularly failed to treat it. You will not know this, not being a physicist, but there are two useful analogies between gyroscopic motion and certain more familiar phenomena. They are a useful check on the reasonableness of gyroscopic analyses. Your method does not even begin to satisfy them. And why have you not addressed any of Laithwaite’s other loony claims concerning the top? Do you not know about them? Or are they too crazy even for you? Well, he also claimed that there was no centrifugal force (due to the rotating top) acting on the little tower, and that it would not move even if put on a frictionless surface. He moreover claimed that the precessing top had no momentum (because even massive tops can be halted in their tracks by a slight touch). That was another hilarious misinterpretation of gyroscope motion. So, 0/10 for physics and 10/10 for story-telling, as usual. Oh, do we mean you or Laithwaite? Guess.



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