Gyroscopic Precession

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.

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Author koushik sriram ( ago)
Can u explain where active and reactive gyroscopic couple will act?

Author mluleki mabuza ( ago)
that scared me, man!

Author MoosT ( 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?

Author Jonathan Carpio ( ago)
42.0 blaze it

Author 파양 ( ago)
wow i think that is best the best!!!

Author Rumman Muhammad ( ago)

Author Rumman Muhammad ( ago)
too good, very well presented, dear sir..

Author Man In The Sky ( 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.

Author Hema Meena ( ago)
head cut off scene was the best part

Author Arsal Hussain ( ago)
You Just Make Me Jump Off From My Chair In Ending...

Author Ashok Shrestha ( ago)
i hope he isn't hurt badly .. that really scared me too.....

Author RubikMaster13 ( 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?

Author DANG JOS ( ago)
That ending tho!

Author suresh nam ( ago)
torque and angular momentum will be in the same direction.I guess so.

Author Super Miner Bilal ( ago)
roblox death sound in the end lol

Author Super Miner Bilal ( ago)
might do my science project on this

Author 4 E ( ago)
does this gyroscopic precession also work on non metallic objects like plastic

Author Hogan Knott ( ago)
r cross f, not f times r.

Author PieZello ( ago)
just take AP physics and you'll learn to hate this lol

Author Anime world ( ago)
can we use gyroscope to create a vertical thrust ?..

by putting a gyroscopic wheel between diamagnetic plates?

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

Author atari7001 ( 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.

Author Ron Beric ( 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.

Author Jimmy Harry ( ago)
1080p in 2012. I'm impressed

Author Fk Kwan ( ago)
why does the angular momentum have to be in that specific direction? why not the opposite?

Author kightremin ( ago)
That hurts...

Author Joe Deglman ( 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.

Author teleturbo ( ago)
This explanation model is probably Walter Lewis work

Author Shivam Gupta ( ago)

Author Monica Robles ( 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?

Author Pussystroker ( ago)
OMFG I actually understood something in Physics. OMFG

Author M F ( ago)
Nonsense. What you see here is how gravity is an electrical force.

Author BlackFiredDragon ( ago)
it's r x F, not F x r

Author kartikey nigam ( ago)
hey, its r x F not F x r

Author 1.61803398875 ( 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?

Author cafewithcake ( ago)
hmmm please watch vsauce video at this its so different i dont know wich one is right

Author Arjun Jeewan ( ago)

Author caqo2000 ( ago)
(2:34) Could PLEASE anyone explain me why this mentioned torque goes/points that way (to the camera)?

Author Living the Dream ( ago)
What if 2 or more gyroscope axles were connected at angles? Could the resulting torque be found by vector addition?

Author Mohammed Rayan ( ago)
warnnig jump scare at 3 42😱😨

Author Nash H-Aliyyi ( 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.

Author Dentysta Statysta ( ago)
damned faggot i crapped my pants when the wheel had cut your head.

Author Nicholas Allan ( 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?

Author BOBlibob ( ago)
What does this have to do with precision?

Author Sheorajek ( ago)
You mispronounced Veritasium.

Author Juno Chun ( ago)
"I'm gonna bohrow some of their electric equipment," lol. Bohrow.

Author Frass Saeed ( 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!

Author Mash Fournier ( ago)
Tuen this fuclinh wheel ans shut up

Author Mathoma ( ago)
Although torque is a pseudovector, right?

Author Blood Rage ( ago)
wow your heart is bad, after spinning the wheel u get breathless.

Author Chittaranjan Srinivas Swaminathan ( ago)
torque is r x F. and not F x r

Author Милан Павловић ( ago)
Hm, you are lucky because your camera has low latency, otherwise you will be sacrificed for science :)

Author Mdw 159 ( ago)
Great vids,, I just understand why it's rotating clockwise.... "The torque and angle of momentum" :D :D :D

Author BubblesPothowari ( 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.

Author Artemios Nicola ( ago)
I think I'll do a more intuitive video describing the physical meaning of torque. Hold my beer.

Author Dragon Ball ( ago)
torque should be r×F

Author Peter Bolwell ( 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?

Author Osama Anees ( ago)
can someone explain why torque is towards the camera and why not in its opposite direction???

Author Nuurussubchiy Fikriy ( ago)
So this is how we can easily balancing a bike while moving, right?

Author UnderMin HH ( ago)
Jajaja The end .. epic

Author Zeqi Zhang ( 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!

Author DarkRayleigh ( ago)
This principe is used to dont let the particles smash against the outer wall in CERN .They are rotating.

Author Sadism2019 ( ago)
Science lessons from Joker the Alliance Pilot.

Author Roger Trefren ( ago)

Author Jayden Stevenson ( ago)
Brilliant demo and explanation. Viewed that way, it's impossible not to understand gyroscopic behavior.

Author onehit pick ( 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.

Author Naik Alam ( ago)
great job.

Author Quan Vo ( ago)
your video sucks, KYS

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

Author slowpoke96z28 ( 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.

Author geb terrone ( ago)
why am i here watching this

Author excited inspired ( 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..

Author Roger Holmes ( ago)
At 2:34, how is the torque toward that direction? and at 2:57, how is the torque perpendicular to the angular momentum? aren't they supposed to be along the same direction?

Author Myrissa Long ( ago)
this is cool

Author Johnny Batafljeska ( ago)
Nice video.. but vector product does note commute.. T = r x F

Author terrysarmy2695 ( ago)
dewwwwwwwwwwdd, I totally get it now!!!

Author cok Bagus ( ago)
wait, if you have the angular momentum going out. wouldn't that make the wheel spin the other way around?

Author Alejandro Lemus ( ago)
Damn, you are awesome! Greetings from Guatemala!

Author Gummy Bugz ( ago)
I spent the last hour reading up on this, confused by wording and concepts, but I think I finally understand, and I want to explain as clearly as I possibly can for everyone else in my position. As well, please tell me if I made any mistakes.
So, gyroscopic precession. First, momentum is the energy stored by a moving object. Angular momentum is stored in a rotating object - since all sides of the wheel rotate, they all have momentum, often called centrifugal force in the case of rotating objects, pulling out from the center of the wheel. normally, when he would let go of the wheel, since it is suspended on the right, it would tilt to the left and fall.
two lines= wheel; one line = suspension point
Wheel: []-
then: \\-
then: |

since it has to tilt to the left to fall, that means that the top of the wheel is getting pulled to the left, and the bottom is getting pulled to the right (push the top of a glass to your left, it falls over to the left, same thing here). However, that force takes a small amount of time to act, and by the time it is pulling the top of the wheel left, that part it is pulling is no longer the top, since it is spinning. That part of the wheel is now on the far (back) side relative to the camera. when it gets pulled left, it now moves the back of the wheel to the left, and the front of the wheel to the right. In this way, this makes the whole thing turn instead of fall. Weird.

Author Shashank Laur ( ago)
Then cars must be able to turn left easily at high speeds rather than right... right? OR is it negligible?

Author Kai Widman ( ago)
I'm going to be honest, you straight up jump scared me there at the end.

Author gurunath Reddy ( ago)
i didnt get about spin axis
can u explain that

Author Too_Funny ( ago)
Did he just quadruple Vsauce at the end there?

Author Европейский Чудаки ( ago)
Average stereo typical UFO explained.

Author Taher Zadran ( ago)
Who is watching in 2016

Author Redwan Ali ( ago)
Love u man

Author Yingyang ( ago)
you are making it sound as if torque is "acting" on the device. To put it on other words, it feels like from your explanation torque moves the object. But in fact the movement around the cord's axis is based on the conservation of angular momentum of the spinning object.

Author Zirectioner ( ago)
Who else freaked out at the end

Author Aiden Ocelot ( ago)
I'm still confused

Author Shane Ohol ( ago)
So is torque similar to thrust in any relation?

Author EpicUltraKingSmizzy ( ago)
i thought the vector direction for torques was just a visual thing, something spinning on the ground doesnt actually point upwards...

Author Felipe Bizarro ( ago)
The best explain that I have already seen! Congratulations for your didactically!

Author SOLEXTRO ( ago)
cuz wants to twerk duh..

Author robert brakes ( ago)
Please could someone explain to me how the torque is produced at 90 degrees to the force? My understanding is that when force, being a vector is multiplied by distance, a scalar then the result is just the same vector with a greater magnitude?

Author Delta on curved Spacetime ( ago)
Veritasium, nice video there. Your explanation was very easy to understand that even a 12year old was able to understand it

Author Jeremiasz Zielonkiewicz ( ago)
How would that look in space? would that be a means for artificial gravity and additional way to push the space craft?

Author Robert Erwin ( ago)
I finally get it!

Author Tai Phan ( ago)
I love you Derek Lol. What a great explaination !

Author Josh D. ( ago)
From my standpoint as a physics student, this explanation is not accurate :/

The right-hand rule for vectors associated with rotation is simply a convention. The convention could just as easily have been a "left hand rule", and with the logic presented in this video, the explanation is no longer consistent (with the logic presented in this video, a left-hand rule would have resulted in the bicycle wheel precessing in the other direction).
From my understanding, angular momenta are conceptual one-directional axes that exist in three dimensional space. They do not originate from points in space and go outward from those points; they are axes. With this understanding, the explanation present in this video is incorrect.

I appreciate the correction made at 1:11. Angular momentum is a "cross product", and the order of the "multiplication" does indeed matter.

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