Gyroscopic Precession

  • Added:  5 years ago
  • 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.
  • EducationEducation
  • Runtime: 3:49
  • gyroscope  precession  gyroscopic precession  spinning  rotation  rotational motion  rotational  experiments  veritasium  spin  spinning top  wobble  torque  angular momentum  

Comments: 2 086

  • Abdullah bin Mohideen
    Abdullah bin Mohideen 15 hours ago

    total waste time wast

  • Syed Waqas Haider
    Syed Waqas Haider 6 days ago

    torque = r x F and not F x r

  • Vista Panoramica by Lello

    Hi there, first Of all contrata on The chanell!!! I love it!!!I'm a Airbus captain and I also fly helicopters and I always had a question about precession that nobody that I know can answer me...What is the speed that a disc must be turning to begin having the gyroscopic precession?!?

  • mahmud shawon
    mahmud shawon 10 days ago

    Thank u , really learnt from you

  • oosveluzo levso
    oosveluzo levso 12 days ago

    if you flip it, it will start turning the opposite direction, try it.

  • TomVinova
    TomVinova 13 days ago

    Torque: easy to compute, makes no intuitive sense whatsoever lol

  • naveen reddi
    naveen reddi 13 days ago

    Nailed it bro

  • Brian Skinner
    Brian Skinner 15 days ago +1

    How humbling is the pursuit of knowledge. I came here after a several week long binge of spinning tops, and it took me that long to formulate the question relating to momentum and procession. I am a retired carpenter and the only math I have ever used is Trigonometry for stairs and rafters.

  • syed moris
    syed moris 15 days ago

    The direction of angular momentum doesnt have any physical meaning the thumb rule is just a convention, right brothers?

  • Rumman Muhammad
    Rumman Muhammad 24 days ago

    coincidentally 'torque is not as confused as you..take a break of wisdom..or u confuse us all..

  • The Mastermind
    The Mastermind 26 days ago

    Why did the end scare me? I totally saw it coming

  • Jsux23 G
    Jsux23 G Month ago


  • Abhay Bhardwaj
    Abhay Bhardwaj Month ago

    vsauce "spinning" anyone?

  • Max Lake
    Max Lake Month ago

    torque vector of a black hole is the same.

  • scRam Jet
    scRam Jet Month ago

    isn't that because the wheel spins in the same speed as it falls rather than Gyroscopic Precession? Correct me i am probably wrong

  • Alfred Shitcock
    Alfred Shitcock Month ago

    Why does torque follow a right hand rule and not a left hand rule? Why isn't it symmetrical? I'm confused.

  • ॐ
     Month ago

    this is an awesome video....

  • 4one14
    4one14 Month ago

    Physics makes me smile :)

  • zenapsgas
    zenapsgas Month ago

    Rule of thumb: The direction of angular momentum follows the direction of the torque.

  • Frederick Stuart
    Frederick Stuart 2 months ago

    I almost got it

  • Hemanth Alluri
    Hemanth Alluri 2 months ago

    It's T = r x F, not F x r. Vector multiplication isn't commutative.

  • Andrej M
    Andrej M 2 months ago

    Hi, why please wheel must turn its axis in direction of total angular momentum? Thanks :)

  • re frigerator
    re frigerator 2 months ago

    not scared just laughing

  • Subarna Subedi
    Subarna Subedi 2 months ago

    Why does cross product give a vector which is perpendicular to a plane?

  • Jijo Paul
    Jijo Paul 2 months ago

    When the wheel is at rest, the gravity exerts a torque which makes the wheel to fall down. Now falling down means anti clockwise rotation and the angular momentum is in the same direction of the applied torque.

    And now we have the wheel spinning. At this time, we already have an angular momentum pointing in the leftward direction. Now we release the wheel. Gravity acts and applies an additional torque in the direction which is pointing outwards. So the angular momentum must increase. If I take that increased angular momentum portion, i still can't understand why the hell it is pointing upwards..?????

  • Billy Dodds
    Billy Dodds 2 months ago

    Fidget spinners brought me here. Kill me.

  • Pichael Moon
    Pichael Moon 2 months ago

    Hey Derek! that was so cool how you broke down the concept into simple easy to understand force vectors. Gyroscopic Precession with the bicycle wheel was something I really struggled to understand in physics class. Just wanted to say I figured out a way to explain the same concept and do the same demo with a fidget spinner on my channel so if you want to learn a little more, feel free to check it out :)

  • BoiSome
    BoiSome 2 months ago


  • heystirke300
    heystirke300 2 months ago

    i m mind fucked

  • Dimitri Reinhart
    Dimitri Reinhart 2 months ago

    You lost me

  • DevinDTV
    DevinDTV 2 months ago

    So why doesn't it accelerate? Gravity is constantly pulling in a direction, so you'd think the procession should get faster and faster, right?

    GAAFTS 2 months ago

    Oooh Imma need this explained a bit slower for my young naïve mind.

  • Myfavsandlikes
    Myfavsandlikes 3 months ago

    Looks up angular momentum, looks up angular velocity, looks up why angular velocity vector is perpendicular, kills self.

  • Myfavsandlikes
    Myfavsandlikes 3 months ago

    I don't understand when he tries to explain angular momentum from dropping the wheel. I thought angular momentum required the object to be rotating?

  • aceyacey456
    aceyacey456 3 months ago

    This is how a single gimbal CMG works, right?

  • vogonford
    vogonford 3 months ago

    Got linked to this old video from Dirk from Veristablium. Always a pleasure!

  • Booster 884
    Booster 884 3 months ago

    I call BS, it's just a ghost riding a unicycle.

  • Martin S
    Martin S 3 months ago

    He should've used Zipp 808 firecrest wheels

  • Arnav Sharma
    Arnav Sharma 3 months ago

    which country are you from

  • Vishnu M Aiea
    Vishnu M Aiea 3 months ago

    So this is why you do it at the end of all videos ! Got it. But Michael does this too.

  • Danielle Matar
    Danielle Matar 3 months ago

    Almost got a heart attack from that ending xD

  • Luis M. Diaz Angulo
    Luis M. Diaz Angulo 3 months ago

    torque is r times F, not F times r. It is important if you are making a vector product because there is a change of sign.

  • Mario Cerguz
    Mario Cerguz 3 months ago

    but did you die!?

  • Money Editor
    Money Editor 3 months ago

    Why would the torque generated by the wheel rotation change the behaviour of the torque generated by gravity? I don't understand.

  • Crowne Productions
    Crowne Productions 3 months ago

    Should have added in some blood splatter FX at the end there Derek.

  • koushik sriram
    koushik sriram 3 months ago

    Can u explain where active and reactive gyroscopic couple will act?

  • mluleki mabuza
    mluleki mabuza 3 months ago

    that scared me, man!

  • MoosT
    MoosT 4 months ago +1

    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?

    • Fresh Rock Papa-E
      Fresh Rock Papa-E 3 months ago

      The vectors would go the other way around. It would all be the same, except that the wheel would spin the other way around the rope.

  • Jonathan Carpio
    Jonathan Carpio 4 months ago

    42.0 blaze it

  • 파양
    파양 4 months ago +1

    wow i think that is best the best!!!

  • Rumman Muhammad
    Rumman Muhammad 4 months ago


  • Rumman Muhammad
    Rumman Muhammad 4 months ago

    too good, very well presented, dear sir..

  • Man In The Sky
    Man In The Sky 4 months 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.

  • Arsal Hussain
    Arsal Hussain 4 months ago

    You Just Make Me Jump Off From My Chair In Ending...

  • Ashok Shrestha
    Ashok Shrestha 4 months ago

    i hope he isn't hurt badly .. that really scared me too.....

  • RubikMaster13
    RubikMaster13 4 months 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?

    DANG JOS 4 months ago

    That ending tho!

  • suresh nam
    suresh nam 4 months ago

    torque and angular momentum will be in the same direction.I guess so.

  • Super Miner Bilal
    Super Miner Bilal 4 months ago

    roblox death sound in the end lol

  • Super Miner Bilal
    Super Miner Bilal 4 months ago

    might do my science project on this

  • Nugacity TM
    Nugacity TM 5 months ago

    does this gyroscopic precession also work on non metallic objects like plastic

  • Hogan Knott
    Hogan Knott 5 months ago

    r cross f, not f times r.

  • PieZello
    PieZello 5 months ago

    just take AP physics and you'll learn to hate this lol

  • Anime world
    Anime world 5 months ago

    can we use gyroscope to create a vertical thrust ?..

    by putting a gyroscopic wheel between diamagnetic plates?

  • AMVaddictionist
    AMVaddictionist 5 months ago

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

  • atari7001
    atari7001 5 months 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.

  • Ron Beric
    Ron Beric 5 months 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.

  • Jimmy Harry
    Jimmy Harry 5 months ago +1

    1080p in 2012. I'm impressed

  • Fk Kwan
    Fk Kwan 5 months ago

    why does the angular momentum have to be in that specific direction? why not the opposite?

  • kightremin
    kightremin 6 months ago

    That hurts...

  • Joe Deglman
    Joe Deglman 6 months 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.

  • teleturbo
    teleturbo 6 months ago

    This explanation model is probably Walter Lewis work

  • Shivam Gupta
    Shivam Gupta 6 months ago


  • Monica Robles
    Monica Robles 6 months 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?

  • Pussystroker
    Pussystroker 7 months ago +1

    OMFG I actually understood something in Physics. OMFG

  • M F
    M F 7 months ago

    Nonsense. What you see here is how gravity is an electrical force.

  • BlackFiredDragon
    BlackFiredDragon 7 months ago

    it's r x F, not F x r

  • kartikey nigam
    kartikey nigam 7 months ago +1

    hey, its r x F not F x r

    • kartikey nigam
      kartikey nigam 7 months ago

      +Even Jesus Hates You
      bro in case of vectors r x f and f x r makes difference as direction in both cases is different. For detailed info google "cross product"😁

    • Even Jesus Hates You
      Even Jesus Hates You 7 months ago

      What the fuck's the difference?

  • 1.61803398875
    1.61803398875 7 months 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?

    • Hydar Zartash
      Hydar Zartash 6 months ago

      it would fall, and then stop spinning, as the forces cancelled each other out, the torque would immediately take over, and the wheel would stop slowly

  • cafewithcake
    cafewithcake 7 months ago

    hmmm please watch vsauce video at this its so different i dont know wich one is right

  • The Psyborg
    The Psyborg 7 months ago


  • caqo2000
    caqo2000 7 months ago

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

  • Living the Dream
    Living the Dream 8 months ago

    What if 2 or more gyroscope axles were connected at angles? Could the resulting torque be found by vector addition?

  • Mohammed Rayan
    Mohammed Rayan 8 months ago

    warnnig jump scare at 3 42😱😨

  • Nash H-Aliyyi
    Nash H-Aliyyi 8 months 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.

  • Dentysta Statysta
    Dentysta Statysta 8 months ago

    damned faggot i crapped my pants when the wheel had cut your head.

  • Nicholas Allan
    Nicholas Allan 8 months 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?

  • BOBlibob
    BOBlibob 8 months ago

    What does this have to do with precision?

    • BOBlibob
      BOBlibob 8 months ago

      +Grant Dever Ops, I forgot to delete my comment. I found out yesterday after studying gyroscopes. But thanks for the answer.

    • Grant Dever
      Grant Dever 8 months ago

      precession not precision

  • Sheorajek
    Sheorajek 8 months ago

    You mispronounced Veritasium.

  • Juno Chun
    Juno Chun 8 months ago

    "I'm gonna bohrow some of their electric equipment," lol. Bohrow.

  • Frass Saeed
    Frass Saeed 8 months 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!

    • adwait rawat
      adwait rawat 8 months ago

      like force produces translatory motion, torqe produces rotation. it does not tend to go perpendicular it needs to be perpendicular to produce rotation. and it is a convention to convert rotatory vector into linear vectors for convenience by the right hand thumb rule. google it you will see.

  • Mash Fournier
    Mash Fournier 8 months ago

    Tuen this fuclinh wheel ans shut up

  • Mathoma
    Mathoma 8 months ago +2

    Although torque is a pseudovector, right?

    • Some1NamedMe
      Some1NamedMe 7 months ago

      Genuine question: what is to say that torque is the pseudovector, not radius?

    • Mathoma
      Mathoma 8 months ago

      +Joe Reven
      Indeed. You can define it as r ∧ F using the wedge product instead of the usual r x F using the cross product. The bivector seems more natural and direct since the rotation gets encoded right into the signed area as opposed to the cross product vector which is orthogonal to the plane of rotation.

    • Jo Reven
      Jo Reven 8 months ago

      Isn't it a bivector?

    • MrSmiley
      MrSmiley 8 months ago

      i thought its pterodactyl

    • Mathoma
      Mathoma 8 months ago

      +Faruk, Bughaba
      Well, torque isn't really a _special_ vector because it's not a vector quantity at all. I think you mean that the pseudovector has an additional sign flip upon mirror reflection.

  • Blood Rage
    Blood Rage 9 months ago

    wow your heart is bad, after spinning the wheel u get breathless.

    • Jo Reven
      Jo Reven 8 months ago

      He seems fit to me.

  • Chittaranjan Srinivas Swaminathan

    torque is r x F. and not F x r

  • Милан Павловић

    Hm, you are lucky because your camera has low latency, otherwise you will be sacrificed for science :)

  • Mdw 159
    Mdw 159 9 months ago

    Great vids,, I just understand why it's rotating clockwise.... "The torque and angle of momentum" :D :D :D

  • BubblesPothowari
    BubblesPothowari 9 months 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.

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