Gyroscopic Precession

  • Added:  5 years ago
  • NOTE: This video will appear in a playlist on Smarter Every Day hence the references to Veritasium. Destin does lots of cool science stuff - check out his channel if you haven't already

    We have been collaborating on rotational motion, which is timely for some of the videos I've been doing lately. In this video I talk about gyroscopic precession - the "wobbling" of a spinning top around its axis.

    This is caused by the torque due to the object's weight. The big idea is that the torque vector increases angular momentum in the direction of torque. So if there is no angular momentum initially, it will cause the system to swing in such a direction that it is rotating with new angular momentum in the direction of the torque. However, if there was angular momentum to begin with, the torque will change the direction of that angular momentum by causing precession.
  • Video CategoriesEducation
  • Runtime: 3:49
  • Tags for this video:  gyroscope  precession  gyroscopic precession  spinning  rotation  rotational motion  rotational  experiments  veritasium  spin  spinning top  wobble  torque  angular momentum  

Comments: 2 044

  • zenapsgas
    zenapsgas 1 day ago

    Rule of thumb: The direction of angular momentum follows the direction of the torque.

  • Frederick Stuart
    Frederick Stuart 5 days ago

    I almost got it

  • Hemanth Alluri
    Hemanth Alluri 6 days ago

    It's T = r x F, not F x r. Vector multiplication isn't commutative.

  • Andrej M
    Andrej M 8 days ago

    Hi, why please wheel must turn its axis in direction of total angular momentum? Thanks :)

  • re frigerator
    re frigerator 11 days ago

    not scared just laughing

  • Subarna Subedi
    Subarna Subedi 12 days ago

    Why does cross product give a vector which is perpendicular to a plane?

  • Jijo Paul
    Jijo Paul 14 days ago

    When the wheel is at rest, the gravity exerts a torque which makes the wheel to fall down. Now falling down means anti clockwise rotation and the angular momentum is in the same direction of the applied torque.

    And now we have the wheel spinning. At this time, we already have an angular momentum pointing in the leftward direction. Now we release the wheel. Gravity acts and applies an additional torque in the direction which is pointing outwards. So the angular momentum must increase. If I take that increased angular momentum portion, i still can't understand why the hell it is pointing upwards..?????

  • Billy Dodds
    Billy Dodds 15 days ago

    Fidget spinners brought me here. Kill me.

  • Pichael Moon
    Pichael Moon 16 days ago

    Hey Derek! that was so cool how you broke down the concept into simple easy to understand force vectors. Gyroscopic Precession with the bicycle wheel was something I really struggled to understand in physics class. Just wanted to say I figured out a way to explain the same concept and do the same demo with a fidget spinner on my channel so if you want to learn a little more, feel free to check it out :)

  • BoiSome
    BoiSome 21 day ago


  • heystirke300
    heystirke300 21 day ago

    i m mind fucked

  • Demetri Reinhart
    Demetri Reinhart 24 days ago

    You lost me

  • DevinDTV
    DevinDTV 25 days ago

    So why doesn't it accelerate? Gravity is constantly pulling in a direction, so you'd think the procession should get faster and faster, right?

    GAAFTS 1 month ago

    Oooh Imma need this explained a bit slower for my young naïve mind.

  • Myfavsandlikes
    Myfavsandlikes 1 month ago

    Looks up angular momentum, looks up angular velocity, looks up why angular velocity vector is perpendicular, kills self.

  • Myfavsandlikes
    Myfavsandlikes 1 month ago

    I don't understand when he tries to explain angular momentum from dropping the wheel. I thought angular momentum required the object to be rotating?

  • aceyacey456
    aceyacey456 1 month ago

    This is how a single gimbal CMG works, right?

  • vogonford
    vogonford 1 month ago

    Got linked to this old video from Dirk from Veristablium. Always a pleasure!

  • Booster 884
    Booster 884 1 month ago

    I call BS, it's just a ghost riding a unicycle.

  • Martin S
    Martin S 1 month ago

    He should've used Zipp 808 firecrest wheels

  • Arnav Sharma
    Arnav Sharma 1 month ago

    which country are you from

  • Vishnu M Aiea
    Vishnu M Aiea 1 month ago

    So this is why you do it at the end of all videos ! Got it. But Michael does this too.

  • Danielle Matar
    Danielle Matar 1 month ago

    Almost got a heart attack from that ending xD

  • Luis M. Diaz Angulo
    Luis M. Diaz Angulo 1 month ago

    torque is r times F, not F times r. It is important if you are making a vector product because there is a change of sign.

  • Mario Cerguz
    Mario Cerguz 1 month ago

    but did you die!?

  • Money Editor
    Money Editor 1 month ago

    Why would the torque generated by the wheel rotation change the behaviour of the torque generated by gravity? I don't understand.

  • Crowne Productions
    Crowne Productions 1 month ago

    Should have added in some blood splatter FX at the end there Derek.

  • koushik sriram
    koushik sriram 1 month ago

    Can u explain where active and reactive gyroscopic couple will act?

  • mluleki mabuza
    mluleki mabuza 2 months ago

    that scared me, man!

  • MoosT
    MoosT 2 months ago

    What would happen if you spin it the other way around? In this case the right-hand-rule would point to the other direction or am I wrong?

    • Fresh Rock Papa-E
      Fresh Rock Papa-E 1 month ago

      The vectors would go the other way around. It would all be the same, except that the wheel would spin the other way around the rope.

  • Jonathan Carpio
    Jonathan Carpio 2 months ago

    42.0 blaze it

  • 파양
    파양 2 months ago

    wow i think that is best the best!!!

  • Rumman Muhammad
    Rumman Muhammad 2 months ago


  • Rumman Muhammad
    Rumman Muhammad 2 months ago

    too good, very well presented, dear sir..

  • Man In The Sky
    Man In The Sky 2 months ago

    I understand this was one of your earlier videos. But you could've explained 1) vectors have magnitude and direction not just direction. I understand that was just a mistake. 2) given you spent time to point out the torque vectors you should've made it more explicit that the gyro spin was because of the vector sum of the two torques. You mentioned them but didn't explain explicitly the vector sum points in the direction which would cause the gyro spin. Otherwise good video.

  • Arsal Hussain
    Arsal Hussain 2 months ago

    You Just Make Me Jump Off From My Chair In Ending...

  • Ashok Shrestha
    Ashok Shrestha 2 months ago

    i hope he isn't hurt badly .. that really scared me too.....

  • RubikMaster13
    RubikMaster13 2 months ago

    The thing I don't understand stand is this. Torque is angular force. You apply a torque to change the angular momentum of an object by increasing its angular velocity. If an object is rotating with a constant angular velocity, there is no torque being applied to it. The same as if an object is traveling with a constant velocity, there is no force applied to it. Once Derek has got the wheel spinning, there is no longer any torque on the wheel. So why does the wheel process instead of falling?

    DANG JOS 2 months ago

    That ending tho!

  • suresh nam
    suresh nam 2 months ago

    torque and angular momentum will be in the same direction.I guess so.

  • Super Miner Bilal
    Super Miner Bilal 2 months ago

    roblox death sound in the end lol

  • Super Miner Bilal
    Super Miner Bilal 2 months ago

    might do my science project on this

  • 4 E
    4 E 3 months ago

    does this gyroscopic precession also work on non metallic objects like plastic

  • Hogan Knott
    Hogan Knott 3 months ago

    r cross f, not f times r.

  • PieZello
    PieZello 3 months ago

    just take AP physics and you'll learn to hate this lol

  • Anime world
    Anime world 3 months ago

    can we use gyroscope to create a vertical thrust ?..

    by putting a gyroscopic wheel between diamagnetic plates?

  • AMVaddictionist
    AMVaddictionist 3 months ago

    Thank you for posting this video. Now I understand what my physics book is trying to tell me about precession.

  • atari7001
    atari7001 3 months ago

    Newtonian physics presumes that the momentum of the spinning wheel cannot change no matter what we do to the position or location of the gyro. If we assume this to be true, then what happens to the energy of the system when a torque is applied such that the orientation of the axis is changed and the gyro is forcibly precessed?

    Since energy = force x distance, we've spent some energy, but where has it gone? The gyro will naturally resist this influence and come to a stop when the force is removed. Therefore, where has the energy gone? This to me seems even more mysterious than the precession motion itself.

  • Ron Beric
    Ron Beric 4 months ago

    If you go to his website this week, I think it’s the final chance to get a copy of Woody Hyezmar’s woodworking Book, google it.

  • Jimmy Harry
    Jimmy Harry 4 months ago

    1080p in 2012. I'm impressed

  • Fk Kwan
    Fk Kwan 4 months ago

    why does the angular momentum have to be in that specific direction? why not the opposite?

  • kightremin
    kightremin 4 months ago

    That hurts...

  • Joe Deglman
    Joe Deglman 4 months ago

    So is the torque the same as a motor, I mean a metal object rotating in a magnetic field? What would happen if the entire wheel were plastic?   Is it a static electric force that creates the torque? It does have the right hand rule just like electricity in a wire.

  • teleturbo
    teleturbo 4 months ago

    This explanation model is probably Walter Lewis work

  • Shivam Gupta
    Shivam Gupta 5 months ago


  • Monica Robles
    Monica Robles 5 months ago

    Question here!

    I want to analyze and explain precession, so I'll do the bike wheel project and all. However, I'm required to measure variants and all. What do I measure and how? The force applied is the controlled variant, and the torque is the dependable, which is the indepentable variant?

  • Pussystroker
    Pussystroker 5 months ago

    OMFG I actually understood something in Physics. OMFG

  • M F
    M F 5 months ago

    Nonsense. What you see here is how gravity is an electrical force.

  • BlackFiredDragon
    BlackFiredDragon 5 months ago

    it's r x F, not F x r

  • kartikey nigam
    kartikey nigam 5 months ago

    hey, its r x F not F x r

    • kartikey nigam
      kartikey nigam 5 months ago

      +Even Jesus Hates You
      bro in case of vectors r x f and f x r makes difference as direction in both cases is different. For detailed info google "cross product"😁

    • Even Jesus Hates You
      Even Jesus Hates You 5 months ago

      What the fuck's the difference?

  • 1.61803398875
    1.61803398875 5 months ago

    I was always wondering with gyros if you introduce anti-torque to the suspended wheel ie force it not to spin around will it fall or will it stop rotating?

    • Hydar Zartash
      Hydar Zartash 4 months ago

      it would fall, and then stop spinning, as the forces cancelled each other out, the torque would immediately take over, and the wheel would stop slowly

  • cafewithcake
    cafewithcake 5 months ago

    hmmm please watch vsauce video at this its so different i dont know wich one is right

  • The Psyborg
    The Psyborg 5 months ago


  • caqo2000
    caqo2000 6 months ago

    (2:34) Could PLEASE anyone explain me why this mentioned torque goes/points that way (to the camera)?

  • Living the Dream
    Living the Dream 6 months ago

    What if 2 or more gyroscope axles were connected at angles? Could the resulting torque be found by vector addition?

  • Mohammed Rayan
    Mohammed Rayan 6 months ago

    warnnig jump scare at 3 42😱😨

  • Nash H-Aliyyi
    Nash H-Aliyyi 6 months ago

    Sorry man this is not good explanation, whats up with memorizing hand rules,?! Just explain torque momentum and gravity falling effect that constantly battle!, resulting in new vector that moves also constantly side way= rotation.

  • Dentysta Statysta
    Dentysta Statysta 6 months ago

    damned faggot i crapped my pants when the wheel had cut your head.

  • Nicholas Allan
    Nicholas Allan 6 months ago

    Is it slowing down because of friction, or is it slowing down because the torque cause by gravity is opposing and slowing down the angular momentum? Would it not fall the way it did in a "frictionless" environment?

  • BOBlibob
    BOBlibob 6 months ago

    What does this have to do with precision?

    • BOBlibob
      BOBlibob 6 months ago

      +Grant Dever Ops, I forgot to delete my comment. I found out yesterday after studying gyroscopes. But thanks for the answer.

    • Grant Dever
      Grant Dever 6 months ago

      precession not precision

  • Sheorajek
    Sheorajek 6 months ago

    You mispronounced Veritasium.

  • Juno Chun
    Juno Chun 6 months ago

    "I'm gonna bohrow some of their electric equipment," lol. Bohrow.

  • Frass Saeed
    Frass Saeed 6 months ago

    Can someone explain to me what torque is? And why does it have the tendency to go out (perpendicular) toward me in the first place? Thanks!

    • adwait rawat
      adwait rawat 6 months ago

      like force produces translatory motion, torqe produces rotation. it does not tend to go perpendicular it needs to be perpendicular to produce rotation. and it is a convention to convert rotatory vector into linear vectors for convenience by the right hand thumb rule. google it you will see.

  • Mash Fournier
    Mash Fournier 6 months ago

    Tuen this fuclinh wheel ans shut up

  • Mathoma
    Mathoma 6 months ago

    Although torque is a pseudovector, right?

    • Some1NamedMe
      Some1NamedMe 5 months ago

      Genuine question: what is to say that torque is the pseudovector, not radius?

    • Mathoma
      Mathoma 6 months ago

      +Joe Reven
      Indeed. You can define it as r ∧ F using the wedge product instead of the usual r x F using the cross product. The bivector seems more natural and direct since the rotation gets encoded right into the signed area as opposed to the cross product vector which is orthogonal to the plane of rotation.

    • Jo Reven
      Jo Reven 6 months ago

      Isn't it a bivector?

    • MrSmiley
      MrSmiley 6 months ago

      i thought its pterodactyl

    • Mathoma
      Mathoma 6 months ago

      +Faruk, Bughaba
      Well, torque isn't really a _special_ vector because it's not a vector quantity at all. I think you mean that the pseudovector has an additional sign flip upon mirror reflection.

  • Blood Rage
    Blood Rage 7 months ago

    wow your heart is bad, after spinning the wheel u get breathless.

    • Jo Reven
      Jo Reven 6 months ago

      He seems fit to me.

  • Chittaranjan Srinivas Swaminathan

    torque is r x F. and not F x r

  • Милан Павловић

    Hm, you are lucky because your camera has low latency, otherwise you will be sacrificed for science :)

  • Mdw 159
    Mdw 159 7 months ago

    Great vids,, I just understand why it's rotating clockwise.... "The torque and angle of momentum" :D :D :D

  • BubblesPothowari
    BubblesPothowari 7 months ago

    Torque : Force x Distance. Bicycle pedals. Simple Lever. Larger the distance between point of application and the pivot, larger the Torque.

    Precession. When a force, Torque is applied to a Gyroscope, the force effect precesses 90* in the direction of the rotation. Eg. When riding a bicycle, hands free, when I bank left, the the force applied at the top of the rim, pushing it left, precesses forward by 90* in the direction of the rotation of the wheel, and turns the wheel Left. ie The Torque on top of the rim, instead of left tilt, it gives left Yaw. That is precession.

  • Artemios Nicola
    Artemios Nicola 7 months ago

    I think I'll do a more intuitive video describing the physical meaning of torque. Hold my beer.

  • Dragon Ball
    Dragon Ball 7 months ago

    torque should be r×F

  • Peter Bolwell
    Peter Bolwell 7 months ago

    So applying this to the Earth as a whole, if the planet is rotating on its axis around the equator then ("using the right-hand rule") the torque should make the planet travel upwards in the direction of the north pole out of the plane of the solar system, rather than round the ecliptic (as it does). Why is this?

  • Osama Anees
    Osama Anees 8 months ago

    can someone explain why torque is towards the camera and why not in its opposite direction???

    • Raghu R
      Raghu R 7 months ago

      Direction of rotation of the wheel is anti-clockwise. Fingers in right hand thumb rule also is anti-clockwise and thumb is pointing towards the camera.

  • Nuurussubchiy Fikriy
    Nuurussubchiy Fikriy 8 months ago

    So this is how we can easily balancing a bike while moving, right?

    • EebstertheGreat
      EebstertheGreat 7 months ago

      The ability to balance a moving bike actually has more to do with steering the front wheel under the bike as it tips to one side (though it is, of course, enormously more complicated than this). A bicycle with locked handlebars is very unstable. Gyroscopic precession does contribute to stability somewhat at high speeds, though tests of people using bikes with attached counter-rotating wheels that should completely cancel the gyroscopic effects seem to show it doesn't matter much. Wikipedia has a pretty good article about this.

  • UnderMin HH
    UnderMin HH 8 months ago

    Jajaja The end .. epic

  • Zeqi Zhang
    Zeqi Zhang 8 months ago

    That's extremely clear and logical for me, make perfect sense! Thank you for dedicate yourself to doing all of the awesome stuff in your channel and applying science in to real world! You are my idol seriously!

  • DarkRayleigh
    DarkRayleigh 8 months ago

    This principe is used to dont let the particles smash against the outer wall in CERN .They are rotating.

  • Sadism2019
    Sadism2019 8 months ago

    Science lessons from Joker the Alliance Pilot.

  • Roger Trefren
    Roger Trefren 8 months ago

  • Jayden Stevenson
    Jayden Stevenson 8 months ago

    Brilliant demo and explanation. Viewed that way, it's impossible not to understand gyroscopic behavior.

  • onehit pick
    onehit pick 8 months ago

    The explanation is just rules, and gives no intuitive understanding of precession, leaving it as magic while it is very possible to fathom. We should teach the actual mechanisms why, and not just the rules. To understand why the wheel precesses, you have to follow all the small (incremental) parts of the wheel as they progress, and the forces applied.

  • Naik Alam
    Naik Alam 8 months ago

    great job.

  • Quan Vo
    Quan Vo 8 months ago

    your video sucks, KYS

  • Wendy Solganik
    Wendy Solganik 8 months ago

    Did his head really get cut of??? Oh, wait, no. He couldn't have posted this video if that happened.

  • slowpoke96z28
    slowpoke96z28 9 months ago

    the way I saw it demonstrated in high school was holding the wheel while sitting in a swiveling chair. whichever way you leaned the wheel, the chair would swivel in that direction lol. it was pretty sweet.

  • geb terrone
    geb terrone 9 months ago

    why am i here watching this

  • excited inspired
    excited inspired 9 months ago

    torque is not pointing out like that, it is angular velocity & torque is moment which is circular shown by the arrow on the wheel..

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