Cannon, Robert H., Jr. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, Stanford, California.
Last reviewed:June 2020
- Basic principle
- Gyropendulum and gyrocompass
- Inertial guidance
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Any apparatus which swings, because of gravity, with a natural period of 84.4 min, that is, with the same period as a hypothetical simple pendulum whose length is the Earth's radius. In 1923 Max Schuler showed that such an apparatus has the unique property that the pendulum arm will remain vertical despite any motions of its pivot. It is therefore useful as a base for navigational instruments. Schuler also showed how gyroscopes can be used to increase the period of a physical pendulum to the desired 84.4 min.
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