Thanks for the info,
and I did and do admire Professor Laithwaite. I only met him once and
briefly, but liked him immediately. His work was also important, and I
do believe that much remains to be learned about gyros. And he
certainly did comprehend that Heaviside's extra energy circulation
component had electrogravitational consequences. I still think he got a
bum deal from the Royal Society when no proceedings of his invited
lecture was published, the first such time that happened in 200 years or
On the gyro experiment
in water, the gyro should be completely enclosed so that no contact is
made between the spinning wheel and the water (otherwise, we are
converting mechanical stored energy into work being done upon the
surface of the water) and even between the moving air around the gyro
wheel and the water. Then if in a closed box it floats for awhile when
spinning, and doesn't float for a while when not spinning, one then
would be faced with trying to explain the anomaly.
From: Patrick / London / UK
22nd May 2002
FAO Tom Bearden / please forward if necessary
Dear Colonel Bearden,
I was interested to read you comments on Eric Laithwaite in a recent
correspondence reply. In my estimation Professor Laithwaite was one of
great engineering minds of the post war period, but sadly without due
honour in his own time. As you say, he had radical and important ideas
about gyro precession and propulsion, which probably limited his career.
scientists or engineers seem to appreciate the reality of precessional
forces. A lot of them want to confine the idea to the nutation of the
earthıs axis, but it is omni present in all dynamic systems.
Laithwaite was reasonably well known for his work on linear induction
motors, and several of his lectures were broadcast on British TV,
demonstrations with massive, bench top gyros. I can still clearly
him telling a studio audience of schoolchildren that proper, open
into gyro precession / propulsion was being neglected and discouraged.
Many years later, I conceived (in a dream !) a simple experiment which
happens to work fine in reality, and demonstrates the principle for just
few pounds / dollars. Here goes:
Purchase a small gyro of the kind designed like a spinning topı, where
flywheel is mounted inside a streamlined plastic casing, which is
practically watertight. These are commercially available as toys in the
Place the gyro in a large tank or bath of water. It quickly sinks.
Take the same gyro, dry it off, and power it up to the maximum possible
revs. Carefully place the spinning gyro back into the water. Now it
for 10-15 seconds, maybe longer, until the flywheel starts to dump
too quickly. Other lateral movements can also be seen.
So there it is ! An active gyro weighs less than the same gyro when
or staticı. Its mass is the same, but it weighs less, just like a man
The obvious question is how come this particular force is only manifest
the water ? My insatnt hunch answer is as follows:
The spinning flywheel develops precessional forces at ninety degrees to
plane of rotation, in other words parallel to the axis of spin. The
the mass acceleration of the flywheel, the greater the precessional
Air alone does not provide sufficient mass density for these forces to
against visibly, but water does. Precession begets precession, again at
ninety degrees, and so a small lateral movement may also be seen.
I can only assume that this disparity in mass density is sufficient such
that the forces act only to support the gyro, without, at the same time,
working to sink it. In other words, when a gyro spins in the air,
on a massive body, the precessional forces, in reality, (but non
are generated equally on both sides of the flywheel, along the axis of
but in each case away from the centre of spin. Being equal they will
cancel out. The presence of the air / water interface alters this
it is suficiently asymmetric that the gyro can float as long as flywheel
spins fast enough.
Anyway, that is my strictly non academic contribution.
Best wishes and good luck in your endeavours