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Physics tip sheet #37

A gyroscope usually consists of a solid disk that spins at a high speed and resists being turned to face a different direction. However, a new experiment has demonstrated a gyroscope made of a superfluid Bose-Einstein condensed gas. The ellipsoidal glob of supercold Rubidium atoms moves just like a children's toy spinning top (a common form of gyroscope). It spins on its own axis but also precesses, or has the axis rotate about, just as a spinning top does as it begins to fall over.

Journal article: http://link.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v91/e090403


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Contact: David Harris
harris@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
8-Sep-2003


Page: 1 2 3

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