MAY 09, 2018 1:00 PM PDT

Precession: the gravity-defying effect

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.
You May Also Like
OCT 23, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 23, 2019
Is the Milky Way Too "Gassy"?
Astrophysicists have long thought that our home galaxy the Milky Way has been constantly losing mass due to the escape of hydrogen gas. However, by observi...
DEC 03, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 03, 2019
Wanna Venture Outside of the Solar System? Try a "Skyhook"
Rocket engines are expensive to build, and their speed and the distance of travel are also limited by their own weight and the fuel they carry. But there&#...
FEB 06, 2020
Health & Medicine
FEB 06, 2020
Scientists Found a Safe BPA Alternative
BPA—bisphenol A—is an industrial chemical used in a wide range of everyday consumer products. From food and beverage can linings and storage co...
FEB 13, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 13, 2020
Equations for Chaos: A Mathematic Paradox
Equations are ordered, elegant mathematical constructs used to describe specific patterns. Can you imagine some formulas depict the very opposite: chaos an...
FEB 21, 2020
Cancer
FEB 21, 2020
Understanding cancer heterogeneity
A team of researchers from Cornell has taken an innovative approach to crack the diversity code of cancer cells. Using a statistical modeling technique mor...
FEB 25, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
FEB 25, 2020
The Art of Kinetics
The conservation of energy is a universal rule in our universe.  This principle of nature dictates that in an isolated system, the total amount of ene...
Loading Comments...