Gyroscopes have always fascinated me. Even
after taking engineer physics classes and learning the principles, I still find
it amazing that the momentum of a spinning, stationary object will resist an attitudinal
perturbance. This video demonstrates the ability of a gyro to hold up a relatively
heavy mass, and the resulting precession. It is the same phenomenon that causes
the Earth's 26k-year cycle of the
of the equinoxes.
Also demonstrated is nutation, which is the same kind of wobble that occurs with
our moon that causes a slight variation in the lines between the light and dark
sides. It has the period of a lunar orbit. The Earth also experiences nutation,
but its period of 18.6 years is barely noticeable.
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
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