D4-04: BICYCLE WHEEL GYROSCOPE ON ROPE

PURPOSE: To illustrate gyroscopic precession in a surprising way.

DESCRIPTION: Spin the wheel, then hang it from the end of the rope with the rope vertical and the wheel axel in a horizontal orientation. It will precess with the rope remaining vertical.

Click your mouse on the photograph above to see a video of the action.

SUGGESTIONS: Set up the students for this by showing them this same bicycle wheel gyroscope on a rigid pivot. Then ask them if one of the conditions to obtain precession might be a strong, rigid pivot!

See Question of the Week #94 for information on using this demonstration to enhance class involvement.

REFERENCES: (PIRA 1Q50.21) See also demonstration D4-03: BICYCLE WHEEL GYROSCOPE ON PIVOT.

EQUIPMENT: Bicycle wheel gyroscope and wheel.

SETUP TIME: 10 minutes.


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