Gyroscopic motion is an interesting phenomenon that creates a unique consequence, pushing an object upwards. When an object is rotating, especially at high velocities and rotating on its spin axis, the gyroscopic forces push the object at right angles to the force you applied.
How a gyroscope works [Image Source: How stuff works/ Marshal Brain]
In figure one in the diagram above, the gyroscope is allowed to spin on its axis. A force is then applied in figure two which results in 3, motion at 90 degrees to the force applied. The same can be applied if 2 and 3 are switched, resulting in a seemingly reduced weight that allows YouTuber Veritasium to spin a 20 kg weight on the end of a pole with just one hand.
Before the lift, the YouTuber demonstrates how he can only hold the pole a short distance from the weight because the torque is too great to hold any further. The farther he reaches the weight, the more torque he must apply to counteract the gravitational pull and torque exerted back on his hand. In order to keep the weight balanced, he must also apply force in opposite directions to keep the weight upright. As a result, the weight feels as though it is heavier.
However, when spun at high velocities and applying a force in a circular motion, the torque is reduced so drastically that the vlogger is able to hoist the weight up with just one hand at the end of the pole with ease.
The gyroscopic motion is experienced in everything from bicycles to airplanes who use the effects in many instruments. The effect was also recently used to create a cube that can jump up and balance itself (though, we are not sure of the practicality of this yet).
Gyroscopic precession is an incredible physical phenomenon that enables helicopters to steer and cubes to self-balance, and now, even lift a 20 k weight over your head with just one hand!
[Image Source: YouTube]
SEE ALSO: The Physics Behind a Stringless Yo-Yo
Written by Maverick Baker