Gyroscopic Anti-Gravity / Antigravity Devices (Laithwaite, etc.)

Breakfastologist

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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?
 
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Anonymous

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Gyroscopes

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?
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.

There was also a documentary some years later in which he was hoping/planning to have some gyroscopes sent into space for experimental purposes, although I can't remember now what he was trying to prove.
 

harlequin2005

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Professor Eric Laithwaite. Been a fan since he did the RI Xmas Institute Lecture in 1973. He was inventor of the linear motor.

A couple links for you:-

Uncle Eric Upsets The RI

Laitwaites Paper on Gyroscopic Inertial Propultion
Link is dead. The MIA paper can be accessed via the Wayback Machine:


https://web.archive.org/web/20020202131328/http://www.gyro-scope.co.uk/masstran.htm

FYI, here's the introductory text ...
MASS TRANSFER
'An Introduction'
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".
A google search on Laithwaite Gyroscope brings back loads more

Good hunting

8¬)
 
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Anonymous

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Okay, this is going back quite a few years.

I saw a documentary on television which had two guys (looked like retired engineers!) who were experimenting with gyroscopes.
They were trying to show that gyros could slow the decent of a falling object. I seem to remember some of the experiments being quite conclusive, but then I was only a young lad who believed everything on TV!

Any ideas on who these guys were or what happened to them?:confused:
 

FelixAntonius

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That was the bloke who invented the linnear motor, his name escapes me for the the moment.

He died a couple of years ago, got a great epitaph in the Daily Telegraph. But this was a great example of what hapens when a scientist steps out of line. His lecture to the Royal Society, is the only one they have NEVER published.
 
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Anonymous

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Eric Laithwaite...

...was the gentleman's name. He cropped up in a thread hereabouts not so long ago IIRC.
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Eric Laithwaite...

tmj said:
...was the gentleman's name. He cropped up in a thread hereabouts not so long ago IIRC.
:D Fantastic, you're all little stars:D

Loads of stuff on google, so I shall be having a top weekend!
 
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Anonymous

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Gyroscopes can be wonderfully counterintuitive (though all of their properties can be accounted for by Newtons laws of motion.)

If I remember correctly, Heizenberg used to play a very mean trick where he would place a heavy wheel on an axle in a suitcase. A rope was wrapped around the axle and would emerge through the top. He used to carry this on a train. Just before he got off, he would pull the rope to get the wheel spinning, walk straightforward off the train, pass the suitcase to a porter an then make an abrupt 90 degree turn. I would love to have seen the face of the porter as the suitcase appeared to rise of its own accord.:)
 

intaglio

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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)
 
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Anonymous

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Hmm, were these experiments done in a vaacum? Because with a normal falling object it would turn to get the least air resistance. If you put in gyroscopes maybe it would have a harder time turning, and therefore end up with more air resistance.
 
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Anonymous

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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)
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...

:)
 
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Anonymous

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Heretics: Antigravity

This is another dim recollection (as all my recollections are) of an old TV show from early to mid-nineties.
It was a series called "Heretics" that featured scientists who, in the true Fortean style, were ignored as they produced theories and ideas that were against the scientific grain and were exiled from the scientific community. One episode featured a guy who was a big advocate of large doses of Vitamin C (I mention this to jog some memories). The episode I'm most interesting in, though, was of a guy who claimed to have produced a kind of antigravity effect with gyroscopes. He was, if I remember correctly, a well known TV scientist in the sixties. He gave a lecture to the Royal Society where he stood on a pair of scales and rotated an arrangement of gyroscopes around him, showing a decrease in weight and thus evidence of an 'antigravity' effect. The society rejected his notion and removed all evidence of his lecture from their records.
Question: What happened to this guy, who I believed was continuing his research, and was he debunked or is he still out there?
 

TheHoodedClaw2

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Mr. Detective (or can I call you Dark?) ;) is this the chap you're looking for?
 
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Anonymous

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Gold star, sir. That's as comprehensive a reply as I could hope for!

Cheers:D

DD
 
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Anonymous

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My, my, that's a.. fascinating article. Has anyone heard any more on the subject of this so-called 'reactionless drive' since the poor man's death in 97?
 
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Anonymous

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Reactionless drive is just something gyroscopes are called. It's not a word to describe this particular effect.
 
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Anonymous

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Yeah, I remember he was a guest on Parkinson once and he gave a demo. They had what looked like a weightlifters bar with a big weight on one end. He asked Parkinson to lift from the end with no weight, and of course he couldn't, even with both hands.

The Prof' then spun the weight up to 1500 rpm with an electric drill, whereupon Parkinson was able to lift it easily with one hand and wave it all over the place.

There was also some Yorkshire guy who was working on a device with several spinning wheels revolving on different axis that he claimed would produce vertical lift. It did seem as though he had too for a while. Laithwaite was interested in this too, although I don't know what happened about it all.

Going back even further the Eagle comic had a Dan Dare story that had a spacecraft using the interaction of heavy spinning weights for propulsion and lift. So I guess people have been trying to harness the power of gyroscopic precession for ages.

Fascinating stuff.
 

naitaka

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Laithwaite's system of spinning weights sounds similar to the Dean Drive.
 

rynner2

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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.
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 make a good party trick if nothing else!
 

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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.
 

Tunn11

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There is a thread on here - apologies. Laithwaite gets a few mentions the lecture was 1973
 

Mythopoeika

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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.
I remember watching it and enjoying it immensely. Very inspiring.
And most annoying that the entrenched, dogmatic scientific community treated Laithwaite so badly.
 

Ermintruder

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I remember watching it and enjoying it immensely. Very inspiring.
And most annoying that the entrenched, dogmatic scientific community treated Laithwaite so badly.
Me too, it was stunning. And agreed 100%....I wonder how he would fare now, nearly half a century down the line?
 

Mythopoeika

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Me too, it was stunning. And agreed 100%....I wonder how he would fare now, nearly half a century down the line?
Slightly better, perhaps.
 

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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.
 

gordonrutter

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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.
The Heretics of Science originally broadcast in 1994.
https://www.tvtime.com/en/show/257843
 

gordonrutter

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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.
Here's a clip of part of the lecture

 

Frasier Buddolph

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There's a sizable community of tinkerers that have been pursuing this idea for years (google gyroscopic inertial thruster). Most of their machines involve elaborate arrangements of pulleys, levers, and rotating/revolving masses. So far as I know, NONE of them has ever demonstrated ANY net unidirectional force. The sticking point seems to be conservation of angular momentum; either these experimenters are unaware of the concept or refuse to accept it as fact. They drag themselves through knot-holes of convoluted logic, trying to hit on that magic bit of jiggery that WOULD make it work. You could almost pity them if some of them didn't get so nasty when challenged.
 

Mythopoeika

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David Bellamy didn't fare too well for not accepting climate change!
True, but that wasn't the wider scientific community that did that to him. It was mostly the BBC.
 
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