Provatidis, Christopher G.
Mechanics / Electrodynamics
December 23, 2015
Laithwaite, forced precession, small displacements
In this paper, using Newtonian mechanics, we show that under the assumption of small motion about the horizontal plane, the famous Laithwaite’s engine operates like an ideal harmonic oscillator. It was found that the frequency of the aforementioned oscillation is higher than the frequency of the vertical driving main spindle, the difference depending on the ratio of the product mass×axle’s length×radius (mlR) of the forced precession over the moment of inertia (I1) of the gyro with respect to an axis passing through the pivoting point and being normal to the axle.