precession


precession
precessional, adj.
/pree sesh"euhn/, n.
1. the act or fact of preceding; precedence.
2. Mech. the motion of the rotation axis of a rigid body, as a spinning top, when a disturbing torque is applied while the body is rotating such that the rotation axis describes a cone, with the vertical through the vertex of the body as axis of the cone, and the motion of the rotating body is perpendicular to the direction of the torque.
3. Astron.
a. the slow, conical motion of the earth's axis of rotation, caused by the gravitational attraction of the sun and moon, and, to a smaller extent, of the planets, on the equatorial bulge of the earth.
[1300-50; < LL praecession- (s. of praecessio) a going before, advance, equiv. to L praecess(us) (ptp. of praecedere to PRECEDE) + -ion- -ION; see CESSION]

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Phenomenon associated with the action of a gyroscope or a spinning top and consisting of a comparatively slow rotation of the axis of rotation of a spinning body about a line intersecting the spin axis.

It arises as a result of external torque acting on the body. One example of precession is the smooth, slow circling of a spinning top (the uneven wobbling is called nutation). Precession of the earth's axis of rotation is the reason that the positions of celestial bodies appear to drift systematically with the passage of time. See also precession of the equinoxes.

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      phenomenon associated with the action of a gyroscope or a spinning top and consisting of a comparatively slow rotation of the axis of rotation of a spinning body about a line intersecting the spin axis. The smooth, slow circling of a spinning top is precession, the uneven wobbling is nutation.

 In the Figure—> the disk of weight W and the attached shaft are rotating at high speed about the spin axis AB. The angular speed ω, which is clockwise viewed from A, can be indicated either by the curved arrow ω in the plane of the disk or by the vector ω′ perpendicular to the disk and pointing to the right. The curved arrow ω and the vector ω′ are analogous, respectively, to the rotation and advance of a right-hand screw in a nut; this is known as the right-hand rule. It is usually more convenient to represent rotations and turning moments (which tend to produce rotations) by vectors rather than by curved arrows.

      The shaft and the stationary column AC are connected by a ball-and-socket joint at A, which permits the shaft to rotate about any line through A. In the arrangement shown in the Figure, the weight W creates a clockwise moment WL about A, which can be represented by a vector M of magnitude WL, acting at A and perpendicular to AB. Because of the moment, the shaft will precess (rotate slowly) about the axis of the column in a clockwise direction, viewed from C; the angular velocity of precession is indicated by the vector Ω. It should be noted that ω, M, and Ω are at right angles to one another and that the spin vector ω′ always rotates toward the moment vector M. It can be shown that Ω, the angular velocity of precession, does not depend on the angle α, which, in the case of a spinning top, is close to 180 degrees.

      The precession of tops is frequently accompanied by a phenomenon known as nutation, which is evidenced by a wavelike motion of the end of the spin axis caused by variations in the angle α.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Precession — Précession Précession d un gyroscope La précession est le nom donné au changement graduel d orientation de l axe de rotation d un objet ou, de façon plus générale, d un vecteur sous l action de l environnement, par exemple, quand un couple lui… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Précession — d un gyroscope La précession est le nom donné au changement graduel d orientation de l axe de rotation d un objet ou, de façon plus générale, d un vecteur sous l action de l environnement, par exemple, quand un couple lui est appliqué. Ce… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • précession — [ presesjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1690; lat. tardif præcessio ♦ Mouvement de rotation autour d un axe fixe, de l axe d un gyroscope. ♢ Mouvement analogue de l axe de rotation terrestre autour d une position moyenne de cet axe. Vitesse de précession : vitesse …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Precession — Pre*ces sion, n. [L. praecedere, praecessum, to go before: cf. F. pr[ e]cession. See {Precede}.] The act of going before, or forward. [1913 Webster] {Lunisolar precession}. (Astron.) See under {Lunisolar}. {Planetary precession}, that part of the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • precession — [prē sesh′ən, prisesh′ən] n. [ME < LL praecessio < L praecedere, to PRECEDE] 1. the act of preceding; precedence 2. Astronomy short for PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES 3. Mech. an effect exhibited by a spinning body, as a top, when an applied… …   English World dictionary

  • precession — precession. См. прецессия. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • precession — (n.) 1590s, from L.L. praecissionem (nom. praecissio) a coming before, from pp. stem of L. praecedere (see PRECEDE (Cf. precede)). Originally used of calculations of the equinoxes, which come slightly earlier each year …   Etymology dictionary

  • precession — ► NOUN 1) the slow movement of the axis of a spinning body around another axis. 2) Astronomy the slow retrograde motion of the equinoctial points along the ecliptic, resulting in the earlier occurrence of equinoxes each year. DERIVATIVES precess… …   English terms dictionary

  • Precession — For other uses, see Precession (disambiguation). Precession of a gyroscope Precession is a change in the orientation of the rotation axis of a rotating body. It can be defined as a change in direction of the rotation axis in which the second… …   Wikipedia

  • précession — (pré sè ssion) s. f. Terme d astronomie. Précession des équinoxes, mouvement rétrograde des points équinoxiaux. •   Il [Newton] trouve par une méthode dont on ne saurait trop admirer la finesse, que la précession annuelle des équinoxes doit être… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré


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