MAY 09, 2018 1:00 PM PDT

Precession: the gravity-defying effect

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Toy gyroscopes can do all kinds of interesting tricks. The most mysterious one, precession, seems to defy gravity. 

By definition, precession refers to a change in the orientation of the rotational axis of a rotating body. If you rotate a spinning gyroscope at its spin axis, the gyroscope would instead try to rotate around an axis at the right angles to the axis direction that your force is applied, making the gyroscope appears to be standing against gravitational pull.

The precession effect is also observed in astronomy. Scientists believe that over tens of thousands of years the combination of the precession of the equinoxes, changes in the tilt of Earth's axis to its orbit, and the Earth's eccentricity of its orbit may have lead to ice ages on Earth. 

Source: Veritasium via Youtube
featured image credit: Wikipedia Commons

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
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