Why Can The Gyroscope Rotate But Not Fall?

Gyroscopes are used at the heart of aviation and navigation due to their two basic characteristics: one is fixed axis and the other is inverse. Both of these characteristics are based on the principle of conservation of angular momentum. When the gyro rotor rotates at an extremely high speed, its rotation can be maintained and its axis pointing to a relatively fixed direction. This physical phenomenon is called the fixed axis or inertia of the gyroscope. In the running gyroscope, if an external action or torque is applied to the rotor axis of rotation, the axis of rotation does not move in the direction of force, but moves along the direction of rotation of the rotor 90 degrees and the direction of force is perpendicular to this phenomenon. It is reversal.

Tops have a long history in China. The earliest application example in archaeology is recorded in the “Xijing Miscellaneous Notes” of the Western Han Dynasty. It mentions the lost “Beizhong Incense Burner”, also known as “Yin Xunqiu”, produced by the skilled craftsman Ding Shou. No matter how the scented ball rolls, the incense bowl will remain level, and its principle is exactly the same as that of modern gyroscopes.

This kind of organization has many important applications with the development of science and technology. The Italian scholar Cardano first named this kind of organization as the universal stent. In 1629, Italian engineer Giovanni mentioned the use of the shock-absorbing effect of universal brackets to transport patients in his book “Mechanics” published in Rome.

Although this kind of stent was first invented by China more than 1600 years earlier than the West, it was only a simple application in life during this long period of time. It was the French physicist Foucault who really used the universal bracket in modern scientific research, and he also proposed the term gyroscope.

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