I seem to remember the late Prof Eric Laithwaite was interested in gravitational anomalies involving gyroscopes. Unless I am mistaken, he did a demonstration donkey's years ago in one of the Royal Institution's Children's Lectures (they used to be on TV every Christmas, maybe they still are?) in which some big heavy lump of metal became easily liftable by a child from the audience once it was set spinning gyroscopically.I seem to recall a bizarre yet fascinating article about Gyroscopes being used to counteract Gravity, generate energy and so on. Does anyone remember/know anything about this?
A google search on Laithwaite Gyroscope brings back loads moreMASS TRANSFER
based on experimental work at the
University of Sussex
by Prof. E.R. Laithwaite and W.R.C. Dawson
A SYSTEM FOR THE TRANSFER OF MASS DERIVED FROM
THE PRINCIPLE OF CONSERVATION OF MOMENTUM
The majority of propulsion systems in use today rely either, on exerting forces against the surface over which they travel (e.g. cars, trains, funiculars (via their supporting rope) etc., accelerate material which comprises the medium through which they travel in a direction opposite to the direction in which they are being propelled (e.g. propeller aircraft, power driven or manually propelled boats), take advantage of thermally or gravitationally derived energy gradients (e.g. sailing boats and gliders or surf boards) or eject material in the form of fuel being contained within the vehicle in part as in the case of a jet engine or totally in the case of a rocket engine.) If the vehicle is in space where there is no significant medium with which to react there has been no alternative but to employ the latter method.
When compared to the performance obtainable with a jet engine where a large proportion of the material being ejected from the vehicle is not carried on board but gathered from the atmosphere ahead of the vehicle, the rocket engine is highly inefficient. Energy not directly contributing to the propulsion of the vehicle is lost in heat and light while the huge quantity of volatile fuel required to be carried represents a danger both to the craft and contents. The range and indeed manoeuvrability of the vehicle is totally limited by the amount of fuel carried and indeed once accelerated, deceleration can only be achieved by the expenditure of further fuel.
The work we have been doing at the University of Sussex with gyroscopes, or, in the general sense, flywheels, enables mass to be moved linearly without reaction with the surrounding medium, or ether, and without projection or loss of mass from the total. Where there is an existing medium, i.e. on land, sea or air, the rate of generation of momentum appears to be unexciting. However, in the absence of a medium, in space, out of easy reach and requiring extended ability to manoeuvre, this system does not merely come into its own, it is unique. For the first time, it offers a means of imparting linear movement by the delivery of small "parcels" of instantaneous momentum to a vehicle in a manner not too dissimilar from the current way in which space vehicles are re-oriented by the application of the principle of the conservation of angular momentum. Now we can offer a device that will enable a vehicle metaphorically to "Swim through Space".
Fantastic, you're all little starstmj said:...was the gentleman's name. He cropped up in a thread hereabouts not so long ago IIRC.
Damn! It is such a good story. I'm trying to remember where I came across it, but to no avail. Maybe one for the UL thread...intaglio said:I think that ones an urban legend. It was first proposed by Daedalus of Dredco, the invention of Dr Steve Jones writing in New Scientist many years ago (and later in Nature)
That sounds likely. Anyone with a pair of bathroom or kitchen scales that operate by means of a spring and who can cobble up a motor, a rotating arm, and a weight that can be fixed at different positions on the arm, should be able to demonstrate this effect.It would sit on a scale and vibrate enough that it appeared to lose weight, but that has to do with pendular motion and resonance with the scale springs.
I remember watching it and enjoying it immensely. Very inspiring.What about Eric Laithwaite's Royal Institution Xmas lecture, many years ago? He demonstrated using a gyroscope to lift heavy objects. He stated something like he didn't know how that worked and it looked like anti gravity. For that he never appeared on TV again and I think it was the only Xmas lecture that never made it into print. I thought I saw something recently about someone looking at the math and having an explanation for the effect and wondering about commercial uses, but I can't find it. As I recall the lecture, someone lifted a heavy crate one handed by attaching it to a handle with a spinning gyroscope on it.
Me too, it was stunning. And agreed 100%....I wonder how he would fare now, nearly half a century down the line?I remember watching it and enjoying it immensely. Very inspiring.
And most annoying that the entrenched, dogmatic scientific community treated Laithwaite so badly.
The Heretics of Science originally broadcast in 1994.I only saw some of the episodes of Heretics in the early '90s, but did catch the one on Laithwaite and the demolition of his gyroscopic theories. I remember them putatively suggesting an anti-mass rather than anti-gravity effect - either way he was dismissed out of hand but everyone seemed too busy to come up with alternative explanations. After what seemed years some-one muttered something about angular momentum. Laithwaite did later concede that he hadn't considered that the weight of the gyroscope only changed if it was spun in a particular direction.
Heretics by the way was an excellent series - I saw Nelson-Rees dispute 25 years of Cancer Research because of possible contamination of immortalised cell-lines by HeLa cells. Also the argument that electron microscopy was just a collection of artifacts. I believe (but did not see) that Sheldrake's morphic Resonance was another subject.
Here's a clip of part of the lectureWhat about Eric Laithwaite's Royal Institution Xmas lecture, many years ago? He demonstrated using a gyroscope to lift heavy objects. He stated something like he didn't know how that worked and it looked like anti gravity. For that he never appeared on TV again and I think it was the only Xmas lecture that never made it into print. I thought I saw something recently about someone looking at the math and having an explanation for the effect and wondering about commercial uses, but I can't find it. As I recall the lecture, someone lifted a heavy crate one handed by attaching it to a handle with a spinning gyroscope on it.