Prof Eric Laithwaite – uncut: 1983

I have previously made available the following two videos which I recorded for Professor Eric Laithwaite. Recently I was able to locate the original camera footage shot on each day, and of course, prior to being edited. I thought that after 40 years it was worth uploading this uncut footage.

There are two versions of the Gyro Wheel and several retakes & close-up’s of the Plate Levitator. The Gyro Wheel was recorded in the TV Studio and the Plate Levitator down in Eric Laithwaite’s lab on level one in Electrical Engineering. There will be a few start and stops, along with colour bars and black in-between. You’ll also hear me over the studio intercom and off-camera when down in the lab. As I have said before, he was very easy to work with and understood and appreciated how videos, films and TV programmes were made and also the requirements to reshoot sections or close-ups. In the TV studio you will also see Barry Owen his Research Assistant helping to spin the wheel up. And down in the lab, Eric Laithwaite will give him a few instructions during the lifting of the plate.


Colin Grimshaw January 2023

4 comments for “Prof Eric Laithwaite – uncut: 1983

  1. So cool to see these archive videos. I still remember fondly Professor Laithwaite’s Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on the TV when I was a kid. That dates me… 😉

  2. Neither the Professor nor anyone else can understsand that above certain revs a rotating weight becomes weightless as it is centrifuging all its weight out over 360degrees.
    The bar and iron weights was too much for the Prof while he was holding it steady once spun up and weightless he was able to lift it easily.
    In the brief moment while loosening his left hand the full weight of the bar was on his right hand but there was no weight from the iron weight as it was centrifuging all its weight off he bar. Then when he inputted a turning torque the rotating mass responded to the pressure on the bearings by precessing at 90 degrees.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. As a kid I was always looking forward to the Royal Institution children’s lectures at Christmas on the BBC and I remember Professor Laithwaite‘s series so vividly and was just blown away. Science and certainly physics (and rocket science of course) is so cool.

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