PURPOSE: Do demonstrate gyroscopic precession and nutation.
DESCRIPTION: Spin the bicycle wheel and release it with a small push to obtain pure precession, or release it without simultaneously pushing it to obtain precession with nutation. Release it with no spin to show that precession only occurs with the pre-condition of angular momentum of the wheel.
Click your mouse on the photograph at the left to see what happens if you release the wheel with no spin. Click your mouse on the photograph at the right to see what happens if you spin the wheel before releasing it.
SUGGESTIONS: See Question of the Week #85 for information on using this demonstration to enhance class involvement.
REFERENCES: (PIRA 1Q50.20) See also demonstration D4-04: BICYCLE WHEEL GYROSCOPE ON ROPE.
EQUIPMENT: Wheel on stand.
SETUP TIME: 10 minutes.