Air Gyro

To show precession of gyro around spin axis in relation to applied torque and also to show nutation.

Air gyro table, air pump (air outlets under the lecture bench may be used), gyro, light string.

Turn air on (only a small amount need to be used). Place gyro in position and start spinning by hand. The air gyro is extremely friction free and will rotate an extended period of time at very slow speeds. This facilitates close examination. A loop may be tied on one end of the string and this placed over the end of the gyro shaft (into the groove). When a torque is applied to the shaft, the gyro precesses in the appropriate direction. A swift, light, blow to the shaft will cause nutation. Weights and pulleys may also be used for a constant torque which causes a proportional rate of precession.