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Precession
This demonstration uses a gyroscope (a bicycle wheel works well), string, and a turntable (optional) to show how the equatorial bulge of Earth causes precession. By balancing the spinning bicycle wheel on one hand, and pulling a string attached to the top axle with the other, the axis of the wheel traces out a circle (precesses). The site also explains how the moment of inertia is related to torque and precession.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Presentation / Demo
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright and Other Restrictions Information is Unknown
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-006-235
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • B - Physical science:
        • Motion and forces
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • B - Physical science:
        • Motions and forces
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
Related resources:
This resource is part of 'Demonstrations of Geophysical Principles Applicable to the Properties and Processes of the Earth's Interior'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Jeffrey S. Barker
Geological Sciences and Environmental Studies, Binghamton University