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.
You May Also Like
SEP 12, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Colorimetric sensor detects presence of airborne pathogens
SEP 12, 2020
Colorimetric sensor detects presence of airborne pathogens
The development of a novel colorimetric sensor may bring some mental relief to your COVID-19 anxieties. According to the ...
SEP 15, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Chemistry Grad Students Be Warned: a Robotic Takeover?
SEP 15, 2020
Chemistry Grad Students Be Warned: a Robotic Takeover?
In a recent news release, the research arm of IBM announced that their Zurich team has developed an autonomous ...
OCT 12, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Improving activated powdered carbon to prevent algal blooms in drinking water treatment
OCT 12, 2020
Improving activated powdered carbon to prevent algal blooms in drinking water treatment
In a study published in the journal Water Research, researchers from The Korea Institute of Science and Technology ...
OCT 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Ever-Evolving Battle to Fight Corrosion in Nuclear Reactors
OCT 23, 2020
The Ever-Evolving Battle to Fight Corrosion in Nuclear Reactors
Since its birth in the early 20th century, atomic research has brought mostly positive impacts to our lives. This week i ...
NOV 21, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Is it possible to recycle multilayer polymer materials?
NOV 21, 2020
Is it possible to recycle multilayer polymer materials?
New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison aims to tackle part of the growing recycling crisis by engineering ...
NOV 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
New material removes copper ions from wastewater
NOV 22, 2020
New material removes copper ions from wastewater
A promising solution relies on materials that capture heavy metal atoms, such as copper ions, from wastewater through a ...
Loading Comments...