NIST's compact atomic gyroscope displays new twists

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have upgraded their compact atomic gyroscope to enable multitasking measurement capabilities and measure its performance, important steps toward practical ...

Entangled-photon gyroscope overcomes classical limit

Fiber optic gyroscopes, which measure the rotation and orientation of airplanes and other moving objects, are inherently limited in their precision when using ordinary classical light. In a new study, physicists have experimentally ...

Spinning the light: The world's smallest optical gyroscope

Gyroscopes are devices that help vehicles, drones, and wearable and handheld electronic devices know their orientation in three-dimensional space. They are commonplace in just about every bit of technology we rely on every ...

Gyroscopic spin with petunia seeds helps them fly farther

A team of researchers from Pomona College and the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden has figured out how a wild petunia plant is able to fling its seeds so far. In their paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, ...

'Going deep' to measure Earth's rotational effects

Researchers in Italy hope to measure Earth's rotation using a laser-based gyroscope housed deep underground, with enough experimental precision to reveal measurable effects of Einstein's general theory of relativity. The ...

Building a wireless micromachine

All around us, hiding just outside our range of vision, are miniscule machines. Tiny accelerometers in our cars sense a collision and tell the airbags to inflate. A Nintendo Wii controller's tiny gyroscopes translate your ...

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Gyroscope

A gyroscope is a device for measuring or maintaining orientation, based on the principles of conservation of angular momentum. In essence, a mechanical gyroscope is a spinning wheel or disk whose axle is free to take any orientation. Although this orientation does not remain fixed, it changes in response to an external torque much less and in a different direction than it would without the large angular momentum associated with the disk's high rate of spin and moment of inertia. Since external torque is minimized by mounting the device in gimbals, its orientation remains nearly fixed, regardless of any motion of the platform on which it is mounted.

Gyroscopes based on other operating principles also exist, such as the electronic, microchip-packaged MEMS gyroscope devices found in consumer electronic devices, solid-state ring lasers, fibre optic gyroscopes, and the extremely sensitive quantum gyroscope.

Applications of gyroscopes include inertial navigation systems where magnetic compasses would not work (as in the Hubble telescope) or would not be precise enough (as in ICBMs), or for the stabilization of flying vehicles like radio-controlled helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles. Due to their precision, gyroscopes are also used to maintain direction in tunnel mining.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA