The gyro-compass is essential to the navigation of the modern ship. Though the effects of iron construction on a magnetic compass can be corrected, those of electrical equipment cannot; warships and especially submarines are worst affected by this. The first serious study of the gyroscope was made by the French scientist, Foucault, who used it to demonstrate the rotation of the earth in 1852; it had been known for some twenty-five years before as the ‘rotascope’, a gyroscope with three degrees of freedom which could maintain a fixed direction. Foucault showed that the axis of a gyroscope in which one degree of its freedom was restricted would point to the geographical North Pole, and return to this direction if disturbed; the gyro-compass has been based on this discovery.
KeywordsNickel Catalyst Magnetic Compass French Scientist Fluorescent Powder Biographic Memoir
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