Anti-Gravity Wheel Explained

Anti-Gravity Wheel Explained

Standing on the scale. The wheel is spinning
and it still weighs 92 kilograms. You made the prediction. Let’s see what happens when
I throw it up over my head in three, two, one.
What do you think?I don’t know about you, but to me it looked like a shaky mess. Let’s
watch that again in slow-mo and I will graph the scale readings. As you can see, during the lift the scale
oscillates around 91 kilograms, the same as it read when I was stationary. So it seems
the apparatus doesn’t get heavier or lighter when it is lifted while spinning. The only
large deviation from the average comes at the end of the lift when I let the wheel fall
so the scale reading drops. And then I slow its descent and so the scale reading rises.
So the question remains: If the wheel doesn’t get lighter, why does it feel lighter? This
demonstration was first performed by Professor Eric Laithwaite. Listen to how he describes
it.>>So here goes 40 pounds of wheel as light
as a feather. This is not a conjuring trick. This is a fact of science.>>He sure makes it look easy, doesn’t he?>>Watch it again carefully. A fact about
a spinning wheel so far everyone has missed.>>Professor Laithwaite claims the gyroscope’s
properties couldn’t be fully explained by Newton’s laws of motion. I disagree. But
in order to understand why the wheel feels so light, we first have to consider why it
feels heavy when it is not spinning. So two handed that is as far down the shaft
as you can hold it.>>Yeah.>>Holding the shaft horizontally you clearly
need to provide an upward force equal to the downward weight of the wheel. But this is
not enough, because with only these two forces there would be a neck torque causing the apparatus
to rotate. So you need to create a counter torque in addition to supporting the weight
of the wheel. This requires pushing down with one hand and pulling up with the other. And
the upward force must be greater than the downward force by an amount equal to the weight
of the wheel. So the force on each of your hands is significantly greater than the weight
of the wheel. Now once the wheel is spinning the torque
due to its weight now causes it to process rather than fall to the ground. Therefore,
no counter torque is necessary. You only need to supply an upward force equal to the wheel’s
weight. So it feels lighter. Now the trick to lifting a wheel over your
head is to push it forwards as you release it. Laithwaite knew this. If you force a gyroscope
to process faster, it lifts up.>>Higher the procession and it rises.>>But the weight doesn’t change. Similarly, if you slow the procession of a
gyroscope, it goes down.>>Slow the procession and it falls dramatically.>>I showed you right?>>Now show it to me.>>Hard to go back the way that it doesn’t
want to process.>>[unintelligible] Now you can’t say it becomes as light as
a feather when it is rising.>>It certainly doesn’t become as light
as a feather. I can say that, too, from having felt it. But it does feel lighter. And I think,
maybe, part of that has to do with the fact that I am not having to counter the torque
with my hand, you know? All I have to do is support the weight of the disc, but I don’t
need to provide any torque with my hand to counter that gravitational part, which is
what makes it feel so awkward when you are trying to hold it when it is static.>>When you apply a torque, as you were, then
the force up on one side of the hand and down on the other side. And if you decrease the
force on both sides, then it will actually feel lighter.>>It feels lighter without actually getting
lighter.>>Yeah, yeah. What it does is to take first
the apparent weight that you were feeling.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. What would happen if you had a gyroscope with two discs, one on top of another, but spinning in opposite directions?

    Thanks for posting this, it's really interesting .

  2. So this works only with stuff that is difficult to grip, requiring you to apply additional forces to keep the thing you are holding in place.
    If the flywheel had a regular horizontal handle grip on top of it it wouldn't really be any different from a block of metal of the same weight in terms of how light it feels.

  3. Any energy applied to the lifting of the spinning flywheel, is accumulated gradually adding to the lift. It is that effect that gives the illusion that it is lighter, cause your mind is saying WOW! i'm lifting it so therefore it's lighter. In actual fact, you are lifting it, though gradually over time. Just like a 5VDC electric hobby motor could lift a car 10ft with gearing. It would take a long time though. By the same respect, a pocket calculator could compute a virtual Universe, it would take a long time however. The amazing thing is that the lifeforms in the virtual Universe would not know the difference. It's all relative….

  4. Hi Veritasium
    I didn't come to try this myself so far but one thing that keeps puzzling me is:
    Why does it feel that much lighter?
    I understand the given explanation about the momentum, but to me the videos from Prof. Laithwaite and you look like that even lifting it vertically without any momentum seems extremely heavy / impossible. I couldn't lift a 40 pound bag of cement over my head even if it had a well centered handle.
    So I think the explanation given here is not complete.
    What do you think? I beg for an answer 🙂 (from Veritasium)

  5. I agree with you, that this experiment is fully explainable by Newton's laws. I write a master thesis about this phenomenon and it's incomplete explanations in most textbooks. The reason the spinning wheel defies gravity is, that your hand applies reaction forces on the wheel: A normal force to compensate the weight force, a tangential force to accelerate the wheel's center-of-mass into a precession right after release and a centripetal force to hold the wheel's center-of-mass in a circular path. The faster the wheel spins, the greater are the reaction forces and thus the more you will observe precession. The reason for the reaction forces are the torque due to your hand holding the wheel and a rotation of the wheel not parallel to a principal axis right after release (addition of angular velocities). One can derive these forces by Euler's equations. So the whole experiment is explainable by forces and torques.

  6. Question: What will happen if there's a two spinning discs at both end of the shaft, that both spinning at the same direction?

  7. This was kind of a failure in explaining why the phenomenon happens.
    So, the big factor that's not being addressed here isn't the flywheel's weight, or the shaft, or the rotation, or anything else –it's the person .

    Derek weighs about 70kg, so a 20kg weight is only about 30% of his weight. But just as importantly, Derek is standing on the ground. Keep that fact in mind.

    As he goes to lift the spinning flywheel (always in the direction that it wants to precess), the rotating mass of the flywheel starts to resist being turned at an angle to its axis; this is the "conservation of angular momentum", and it's why a gyroscope resists tilting. It really doesn't want to leave that axis! But Derek is forcing it to tilt, and it's not happy about that, so it starts pushing back, in the form of transferring some of that energy of the rotating mass, through the handle, into him , in the form of torque. Now, bearing in mind that Derek's weight is 3.5 times the weight of the flywheel and handle, he's already pretty well set-up to counteract that torque. And so long as he's gripping the handle firmly (which is easy to do), his arm doesn't have to do much work; all it has to do is to provide an unyielding connection between the handle and the ground, through his body.

    As he turns while holding the handle, the angular momentum is transferred into the handle in the form of torque, and thereby into his hand. His hand doesn't let the shaft turn, so the momentum keeps getting transferred further and further — through his arm, his torso, his legs, his feet, and finally to the ground. All of those together easily counteract the flywheel's "objection" to having its angular momentum changed. As long as he keeps turning, the flywheel will keep trying to precess, and trying to remain in the same plane, but he's not letting it do the latter, so that energy is transferred in the form of torque which, when meeting with the resistance of his hand and the mass of his body, and the unyielding ground, takes the flywheel in the only direction left to go: up, until it can return to being in the same plane it wanted to remain in, in the first place.

    I hope this helps. I'm not a scientist, I'm just a layman, but I'm fairly sure that this is what's going on.

  8. Was it Einstein who said "if you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough". Sorry but their answer is unsatisfactory.

  9. but what if you put like twenty of these in a circle with the gyro facing out and the stick facing in, then attached motors to all the gyros, attached them all in the center and then put a rocket underneath? boom. mars.

  10. So When it was precessing to above your head why did the scale not show more weight? and of course your applying torque @3.20 otherwise the disc would fall. I trust Prof Laithwaite on this one.

  11. What happens if you turn anti-clockwise after you spin the oscillator. Would you still be able to lift above your head or would the oscillator plunge into the ground? Does it matter which way you turn? Just curious…

  12. I see differences between the original video and the one posted here. If you see Laithwaite`s rotating portion of his device in this video frame by frame you will see cropping artifacts. If you see the same video here you will notice nothing but the rotating part of the device become transparent at the higher sections of its rotary motion around Eric.
    Why does it become transparent? Why only the rotating part? Is that related to the position and the weight of the spinning part? Is it a video artifact or purposeful editing?

  13. The gyro doesnt get any lighter, but the force to lift it above your head becomes smaller, which is why it takes less effort. The precession around a point acts like a screw. The wheel is "rolling up a ramp" so to speak. A smaller force is being applied for a longer time over the same vertical distance. This is still amazing and might have applications, but it's still just a simple machine. It would probably feel lighter also if you were just swinging the thing really fast and tried to make the same screw motion.

  14. It actually becomes lighter due to the centrifical force of the hypotenuse of the angle of pi squared times the gravity squared of the peremiter of the pythagorus theorum multiplied by mass times gravity squared.

  15. Lets just put this in the category of the unexplained and unsolved. There are billions of people on this planet and someone out there knows why this phenomenon happens, they just haven't yet been found. The explanation that this professor gave was total poppycock.

  16. It gets lighter at 50000rpm because if you add enough procession the top of the disk moves slower in space time and the bottom faster and so linear momentum is concentrated at the top causing it to move upwards. Try spinning at 1mil rpm and add 500000rpm to the procession.

  17. Helium balloons are anti-gravity, if you can make a ship or whatever just like a helium 🎈, maybe one day Elon Musk will invent something that is even lighter than helium to make a Super Anti-gravity spaceship to take us all to Mars, yea! Seriously though, the Earth is flat, gravity does not exist, I've flown in many high altitude unpressured flights, some strange sh*t happens up there, one time I was holding on to a big empty water bottle I was waiting to throw away and it started expanding, I opened it up because I was worried it might pop, it sounded champagne bottle opening and the air inside the bottle turned to fog, I did it one more time then it stopped doing in, on way down I waited for the bottle to do it again, but it crumpled in my hand, real quick too, all I could think was "What the f*ck?", One time one of my earplugs popped out of my ears, it was in there good and tight they just don't pop out of your ear for no reason, it was very weird, but at no time did the air get any thinner, you just have to go up slow, like how a deep sea diver has to come to slowly or their blood boils, I guess the same law applies above the water too, just don't come down to quick either, that's the hard part, high altitude high opening drop I say, and they'll say parachutes don't deploy that high up because the air is to thin (lies on top of lies on top of lies), I'll say "Well they seemed to open just fine for your fake Mars Rover, eat sh*t, I stopped listening to you decades ago, I'm not basing anything off what you say"
    Maybe take another balloon with you in a backpack and small bottle of hydrogen, it could fill up but not as much as the first so you will drop slowly instead of rise, go where there is no FFA, an island or Mexico, tie yourself to a big balloon and see how high you can get, pussies.

  18. Non-newtonian force. Go watch the cubic robot that can move without any propulsion system, no arms, no legs no ejection. just by Gyro. ( clearly a non newtonian force is acting ), it's a cubic robot. Go see it. they talk about using it in space travel .

  19. This is the way alien flying saucers work. Part of the saucer is spinning at high speed and causes an anti-gravity effect for the entire spaceship.

  20. I'm going to have to put it on a scale and see if that last statement is true. The guy could barely lift the non-spinning weight over his head yet when it's spinning he has no trouble lifting it so I'm not convinced of the accuracy of their explanations.

  21. The spin of the fly wheel creates a torque that is perpendicular to the spinning wheel. He should've also illustrated how changing the direction of the rotating wheel affects his ability to lift it. A counterclockwise spin creates an inward torque. A clockwise spin creates an outward torque.

  22. Can i spin a big 1,000KG rock…and be able to put-it …bare hands in my trailer…?…Can i spin a swimming pool…and be able too reverse-it with my two hands…???

  23. The answer does not satisfied by this method but i have some new but interesting method to understand this,The phenomena of the gyroscope is not as easy as you just show it is a complicated phenomena .Let me ask you a question if you hold this disk while it is rotating and balance and you just says that i balancing that 19-KG while rotating why can not you balance the same thing in stationary position .

  24. An episode of myhtbusters showed that a truck full of birds, when in flight, will not affect the weight of the truck in total.
    Could the weight of the object not have changed because you're attached to it?

  25. Inertia is different from mass. Both a hammer and a feather fall at the same speed in vacuum. However you need more force to push away the hammer than the feather in weightless space (like on a space station). Forced precession is a movement without inertia but has the same mass. That is why it feels lighter when you are lifting it up with forced precession. Stand on skale and test it BOTH ways. Lifting it with forced precession and lifting it just as a weight. Then you will see the difference, That is the scientific method, to compare the two methods, This is just a popularity video. It is so stupid that no one has built a machine or experiment to test that. Just some crazy guys like me or m thruster to prove it. Where are the smart guys to figure out that…..sad.

    here are the videos I' telling you

    M thruster –

    my device –

  26. so when spinning, the wheel weighs 40 lbs but in all directions so clearly it appears as to weigh nothing. or 20 lbs of the wheel is constantly flying upwards while 20 lbs of the wheel is flying downwards. making the wheel feel weightless.

  27. 3:30 well, the rotation of the 1st (outer) axel is causing the 2nd (middle) axel to rotate if it's free to do so… So what happens if you add just about as much rotation to the 2nd axel as you do to the 1st axel?
    Also, what happens if you add rotation to all 3 axels?

  28. the length of the shaft affects how light it feels. You get leverage from the longer shaft. It would feel even lighter if the shaft were longer, and heavier if it was shorter.

  29. At 2:56 min in the video
    U r feeling hard to lift because now ur applying precession in opposite direction due to which couple direction changes and add up to fly wheel weight (load).
    😉 easy

  30. But this still doesn't explain the theory behind it. I would like to see a vector diagram explaining the centrifugal net upward force of the wheel.

  31. Because the particles aren't the same as usual there not just getting pulled faced down there moving with alot of speed rotating that gravity kinda goes with that motion, like when a plane gets enough speed it's weight beats gravity because of the force it's created, as like I've thought about before

  32. A moving object doesnt way the same as a still one if a sprint Usain bolt sprinted and then stepped on some measuring plates the weight should be diffrnt

  33. Not having to provide counter torque still explain why the flywheel feels much lighter and easier to lift compared to when he tried to lift the flywheel without spinning "at the base". His explanation only apply to when the flywheel is held from the end of the bar, but in the first video, he struggles to lift the flywheel over his shoulder "even when he is holding it at the very base" where he doesn't need to provide any significant counter torque.

  34. So a car only feels heavy if it's not moving. If the wheels on the bus go round and round. You can theoretically lift according to versatium.

    Thanks science 👍👍👍

  35. I don't study science…but i think spinning of the wheel takes the force that otherwise we would have had to use if the wheel was not spinning.that makes it easy to lift.
    Just like the helicopter able to fly if the blades are spinning.

  36. Make a video of what happens when there are two wheels on the axle spinning in opposite directions. Does the weight not spin because the forces would cancel out? Would the wheels fly off the axle? Would the axle break in tension because of the conflicting forces? What happens?

  37. They neglected that the spinning motion also stabilizes. It's way harder to lift 19 kg free weights than it is to lift 19 kg in a machine where you really only need to provide force along one axis. The free weights need to be stabilized against tilting and so on. That requires additional force, and you stiffen multiple muscles to simply block such motions.

    The spin stabilization takes much of that requirement off you with that spinning disc. They neglected the biological side while paying attention to the most obvious physics only.

  38. I think another factor of it feeling lighter is when you spin it faster then its precession, you apply a moment around the z axis in your body which makes it want to change its direction to the z-axis which makes it easier to lift.

  39. Two questions please: 1. Why is it easy to lift the wheel when it is spinning and why is it heavy to lift when the wheel isn't spinning? Cause the weight isn't changing as you let see. 2. Why can you move it easy in a circle when spinning whilst with a stredged arm you can't bring over any torque at all.

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