Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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A concept in need of an application.
  [vote for,

I think I have accidentally figured out a way to use harmonic resonance while in the presence of a strong gravitational field to spin a gyroscope up to incredible speeds, and to then be able to change the gyroscope's tilt and seemingly even its direction of spin within a few revolutions with minimal effort and no loss of speed.

I paid my ten bucks and was strapped into one of those human gyroscope thingies at a fair one time, and found that if I held my body as rigidly as muscle would allow then I could increase its spin with just the tiniest nods of my head.
If I flicked my head while at the exact same orientation during each revolution then I could control the speed of revolution just by keeping the beat with my head. By incrementally increasing tempo It would spin faster.
By introducing a lateral flick in between beats I could reorient the direction of spin to either horizontal plane rather than vertical and back again at will.
By doing a sort of sideways flick coupled with a little curl between beats I could rotate about the direction of spin 180 degrees so that, even though the direction of spin did not change, the effect on the gyroscope was to appear to be spinning in reverse.
I then decided to see just how fast I could make it spin and began increasing tempo incrementally until I couldn't stand it any longer but I never got to push it to the maximum, only managing to obtain a paltry four or five revolutions per second. Either they hadn't bolted the contraption down properly or something I had done loosened the bolts because the whole thing began rocking back and forth on its platform with a horrible repeating crunching noise as the attendants were screaming at me to SLOW DOWN! SLOW DOWN!

Anyway, I can't put into words adequately that which my inner ear and subconscious mind seemed to know how to do instinctively, but if the process I've described sounds like it might have applications in the real world I would very much like to hear what they are, and would be willing to demonstrate what I mean while wearing one of those sensor suits that allow physical movements to by plotted into a CAD program.

Powerball - Akis Kritsinelis 20082rpm http://www.youtube....watch?v=LQPESY-pndw
Gyroscillation, of sorts, [tatterdemalion, May 06 2009]

Is this close to what you are thinking? http://www.youtube....watch?v=kuslmH2woHc
[zeno, May 07 2009]

Or this perhaps? http://www.youtube....watch?v=wgnxMqVAFKM
[zeno, May 07 2009]

Going through old photos with my daughter and found an actual picture of the moment of inspiration. http://s68.photobuc...=gyroscillation.jpg
I didn't even know anyone was taking pictures. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jan 20 2011]

What I was blathering about... http://s1199.photob...ew&current=Gyro.jpg
Quick sketch of toy gyro - they can do weird things... [neutrinos_shadow, Jan 20 2011]


       That first bun is mine.
zeno, May 05 2009

       sounds like you were the inner workings of a gyroflex wrist trainer...
loonquawl, May 05 2009

       //That first bun is mine.// Prove it.
skinflaps, May 05 2009

       Sounds like a good Ten Bucks Worth!
gnomethang, May 06 2009

       Prove it how?
zeno, May 06 2009

skinflaps, May 06 2009

       + don't know but the title sounds sexy!!
xandram, May 06 2009

       I recently bought an 'NSD Powerball'. Not quite used to how to make it go for very long yet, though.
Ian Tindale, May 06 2009

       Ian Tindale, with some practice, perhaps you can aspire to feats of greatness such as depicted in the video I have linked.
tatterdemalion, May 06 2009


       First, I'm not sure the "strong gravitational field" has anything to do with it; I think (based on your description) that this would work fine in outer space. I might be wrong though - I can't see clearly enough what was going on.   

       Second, I'm not sure what you're claiming here. Yes, I think (without thinking too hard) that you can spin up a wheel by moving mass around within it, especially if the axis of the wheel is not rigidly fixed. As bigsleep said, it sounds like a resonance thing not unlike using a swing.   

       But whatever energy you added to the gyro thingy came from your own muscular exertions - there's no free energy, if that's what you were getting at.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 06 2009

       Not a free energy device no, although I could not help wondering if a train wheel sized flywheel couldn't be spun to a high enough rotational speed, with nothing more than a vibrating wire, to be able to draw more electricity from it than it would take to vibrate the wire after a certain frequency was attained.   

       It 'is' a ressonance thing exactly like a swing, which is why I assumed that it would not work in space. There is not enough gravity to effect the pendulum and begin the spin. I think it may work in space on an already spinning gyroscope though. Perhaps there are applications for stabilizing satellites?   

       I just know that there has to be uses for a device which could reverse the spin direction of a massive wheel.
The whole thing about gyroscopes is that they don't want to tip.
A device that can alter the orientation of a spinning body at will with little effort has just got to have uses.

       Will do.   

Have done.

       //I don't claim to know shit about about harmonic resonance, gyroscopes, or gravitational fields//
I had to search for a while to find out enough to put this into words.
This happened six or seven years ago and has been tickling the back of my head until recently.

       Adrenaline, hmmm.
From what I can tell my adrenal glands seem to be overactive. When something happens to set them off it literally hurts almost to my finger tips and I fully expect that to be what finally does me in some day.
Adrenaline was not a factor in this.

       As for the tiniest of nods being underestimated;
They started me spinning, but if I were to get myself spinning the only time I would be exaggerating the nods of my head would be to start swinging back and forth.
You have to understand that using frequency to influence momentum means that, in order to speed up the distance between arcs has to lessen. If the nods of my head weren't getting smaller the speed would not be able to increase.
It took all of my strength to hold myself rigid because that was the only damping effect on what I was doing, if I had been held rigidly within a body harness I would have been able to spin a whole lot faster...at least until the sloshing of my organs damped the oscillations or I blacked out from the G force pumping too much blood into or out of my brain.

       I honestly think that this has far reaching applications, and I would love to be in on it for a change.   

       The two links I added are of people trying to make an overunity device using what I think comes very close to your idea here. They failed.   

       So what far reaching applications do you have in mind?
zeno, May 07 2009

       The fellow in the first link demonstrates a decent example of using smaller and smaller motions to speed up a gyro but is going to give himself an aneurysm if he tries to get that thing going much faster. Picture something like what he is doing, but from inside the gyroscope.   

       The fellow in the second link has just built himself a rather large metronome and is dreaming if he thinks to extract energy from it. I mean, it's got a good beat, but you can't dance to it.   

       I don't know what to make of that third link, but of course he's going to be able to power a tiny light if he keeps flicking the pendulum with his hand like that.   

       I am not proposing any sort of overunity device [zeno], although that would be a nice perk.
As for the applications of gyroscillation, <srugs>, that's why I am bouncing this off my fellow halfbakers.
I don't possess the knowlege to take this any further, just the intuition.
I could gain the knowlege, but by the time I do someone else will have run with the idea just like every other time my subconscious has bubbled up one of these little gems.

       Gyroscopic inertia is the tendency of a spinning body to resist any attempt to change the direction of its axis of rotation.
I'm saying that this resistance to change can be conquered easily from inside the gyroscope itself by making a device that can mimic whatever it is I was doing.
Perhaps by constsntly reorienting the tilt of a gyroscope it will be possible to use precession to provide motive power. <shrugs again>

       It all basically boils down to the fact that a spinning gyroscope resists being tipped. I know that it can be done easily, but only from the inside.   

       I see, are you any good at math? If you can work out the functionality of a 4 (or more)dimensional gyroscope, that would be cool.   

       I'll try to think up more related stuff that could be usefull.
zeno, May 07 2009

       I'd appreciate that.   

       I suck at math.
If Murphy doesn't throw any more wrenches into the plans I started eight years ago there is a very good chance that I will have freed up enough time in the next three years or so to be able to go back to school and get my G.E.D. From there I plan to take mechanical and electrical engineering, physics and a slew of other courses and should no longer suck at math, but for now, equations may as well be written in Sanskrit when it comes to my ability to decypher them.

       I suspect (but I could be completely wrong) that when you did your 180deg 'change of direction', you weren't actually rotating about the axis you think you were, but rather a perpendicular one, which had the effect (through gyroscopic precession magic) of also rotating through the other axis, and turning you upside-down. Play with a toy gyro, holding it either side of the rotational axis, then turn your hand quickly 90deg perpendicular to both axes - the gyro will also flip about the axis of your hold (difficult to explain - might do a sketch...).
Edit - sketch linked.
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 20 2011

       I get what you are saying, and you are totally correct.
The change of direction was only an illusion, I continued to spin in the same direction as before, but spinning it around on that lateral axis was almost effortless... by using the opposite of precession.
If this principle were applied to a massive flywheel then I believe that a relatively small amount of force could be translated into a very large amount of stored energy.
By being able to easily control the tilt of flywheels we can then use precession and nutation as motive power for vehicles with minimal moving parts and no emissions. Perhaps even movement in the vacuum of space without chemical sources.

       well, we already know about the idea of using the object INSIDE the spinning object moving as a way to induce spinning to said outer object. They have those self-powered rolling balls.   

       And gyroscopes are being researched as a way to store energy. This seemse to be where your observations may apply - slowly adding energy over time. Perhaps from something that's already moving, like the things that extract energy from body motion.   

       I could also see where it might apply in factory machinery that spins
EdwinBakery, May 09 2012


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