Someone sent me this YouTube video. It claimed to have explained Laithwaite’s Big Wheel experiments as explained by classical mechanics. This I had to see.
The reason why I was particularly interested in this video was because, some months earlier I had spoken to a Boeing engineer who had agreed that these observations could not be solved using classical mechanics.
This video is an excellent example of sloppy research. After you have watched this video please review with my comments. Unfortunately, in spite of their academic backgrounds, the experimenters do not have a clue how to conduct world class research. Very unfortunate.
The first thing I noticed about this video’s claimed observations was that this video demonstration contradicted Laithwaite’s meticulous demonstrations as found here, http://www.gyroscopes.org/gallery.asp.
Here are the errors in this video to watch for, in their experimental method.
1. The experimenter introduces systemic errors by rotating the disc about himself while standing on the weight scale. This is observed as bounces around the 91 kg weight.
2. If the disc spin is low enough the weight change is smaller than that introduced by the bounces and therefore masked by the observations, resulting in “null” observations.
3. At 0.54 mins, he says “… if it does not get lighter why does it feel lighter?”. What was that again? It feels lighter? So what he is saying is that his body is telling a different story from his experimental observations! Not good.
4. At 2.49 mins, the experimenter tries to reverse the rotation, and says “it is hard to go back…” You can see that the disc weight has increased as it has fallen much lower and closer to the ground. This experimenter ignores this evidence.
5. At 2.57 mins, we are not sure what he is doing, but there is a weight gain from 431.0 to 431.2 i.e. you can observe weight gain, but those two folks ignore that fact.
6. At 3.29 mins, the weight is dropping all by itself.
7. At 3:36 mins, they keep messing with the experiment. Why?
I conclude this is a very sloppy experiment lacking experimental rigor. Further the experimenter himself agrees that his experiment is a “shaky mess”. Noting that Laithwaite’s own experiments (http://www.gyroscopes.org/gallery.asp) were meticulous by comparison. You have to watch Laithwaite’s experiments to understand how meticulous he was.
And this is the crux of the matter, to make the claim that this is within classical mechanics requires a derivation from classical mechanics of a formula that matches their observations. This they have not done.
Both Laithwaite’s discussion with his esteemed peers at Imperial College London and my encounter with the Boeing engineer affirm that this is not possible.
Summarizing: A sloppy experiment resulting in more disinformation. Very unfortunate as, if they were as meticulous as Laithwaite was, this could have turned into a PhD project and God knows what other discoveries they may have found.