This Topic in Depth explores gyroscopes and the gyroscopic effect. The first site from the Canada Science and Technology Museum is called What is a Gyroscope (1). Visitors will find an explanation of what the term gyroscope refers to, what's special about gyroscopes, how the gyroscopic effect is applied, and other simple but informative descriptions. Next, the site entitled Gyroscope (2) is offered by the Kenyon College Department of Physics. It describes the history of the gyroscope from its invention in 1852 by the French physicist Leon Foucault to other early variations. Large photographs of the pieces are given along with brief explanations. From the makers of the Segway, the Human Transporter, comes the Science Behind the Technology (3) Web site. Visitors will find an explanation of how the personal transportation device uses a special type of gyroscope called a solid-state angular rate sensor constructed with silicon. The fourth site, Gyroscopes as Propulsion Devices (4), provides several informative pages. A gyroscope math section gives an in-depth look at the mathematical principles behind the science of gyroscopes. The site also explains how a gyroscope works and what they can do, as well as giving several other helpful links to help understand the device. Next, maintained by Vittore Cossalter, is the Gyroscopic Effects on a Motorcycle (5) Web site. The page gives explanations and illustrations about when the gyroscopic effect takes place on a wheel, the effects from yaw motion and roll motion, and even the effects from handlebar motion. Continuing on to a site authored by New York Universities' Ken Perlin is the Rosie the Robot - a Question of Balance (6) site. This comical but interesting page explains how The Jetsons TV show's Rosie the robot balances on her wheels. Besides this, visitors will fine interactive applets that they can manipulate to further their knowledge of gyroscope workings. The seventh site, How Gyroscopes Work (7), is available from Howstuffworks.com. Everything from the science behind their workings, the concept of precession, gyroscope uses such as in telescopes and yo-yo's, and much more are covered. The last site is another motorcycle riding science site called Basic Riding Skills (8). The page explains counter steering for mathematicians, centrifugal force, and the gyroscopic effect on motorcycles in motion. A short but interesting site, its especially good for those interested in the math behind these concepts.


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