Varying Gyroscope Weights
Date: Around 1993
I am not a physicist, please forgive a "left field" question. I
recently heard that if you took a simple child gyroscope and spun it in one
direction that it would way different than if you spun it in the opposite
direction. How can this be? Has anyone ever tried it?
There was an article published in Physical Review Letters a few
years back in which an extremely careful experiment was performed to determine
whether or not the weight of a gyroscope depends on the direction of its spin.
The result of that experiment was that the weight does depend on the spin
direction, and immediately everybody and their grandmother tried to reproduce
This stunning and completely unexpected result. Nobody could reproduce it,
and I do not think anybody believes the original experiment was correct. The
weight difference was extremely small, and I presume the result was came from
systematic errors that were not adequately accounted for.
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Update: June 2012