A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Sean C
Date: 2019 Jan 28, 22:06 -0800
As Bill mentions in his article, a good explanation of the forces at work can be found in J Perry's “Spinning Tops”.
"The first phenomenon is most easily studied in this balanced gyrostat (Fig. 13). You here see the fly-wheel G in a strong brass frame F, which is supported so that it is free to move about the vertical axis A B, or about the horizontal axis C D. The gyrostat is balanced by a weight W. Observe that I can increase the leverage of W or diminish it by shifting the position of the sleeve at A so that it will tend to either lift or lower the gyrostat, or exactly balance it as it does now. You must observe exactly what it is that we wish to study. If I endeavour to push F downwards, with the end of this stick (Fig. 14), it really moves horizontally to the right; now I push it to the right (Fig. 15), and it only rises; now push it up, and you see that it goes to the left; push it to the left, and it only goes downwards."