Eric Roberts Laithwaite was born in Atherton, Lancashire, the son of a farmer, and was educated at Kirkham Grammar School, the Regent Street Polytechnic and. For this second blog we’re going to look at an inventor, innovator and communicator of science on TV and in the classroom. Eric Laithwaite ( ) came to. Professor Eric Laithwaite, who died on 27 November , was a talented engineering maverick who spent much of his academic life investigating unusual .

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For Laithwaite it was a crossroads. August 28th, at 8: Here, he demonstrates the principles of a gyro using a rather large and heavy wheel. After seeing a demonstration of Jones’s small prototype a small wagon with a swinging pendulum which advanced intermittently along a table topLaithwaite became convinced that “he laithawite seen something impossible”.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In his lectures, Laithwaite suggested that Newton’s laws of motion could not account for the behaviour of gyroscopes and that they could be used as a means laithwwite reactionless propulsion.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. As you may know, he moved his research work to Sussex University just prior to his death, so maybe look there?

Despite this rejection and the fact that Laithwaite later acknowledged that gyroscopes behave fully in accord with Newtonian mechanics[3] he continued to explore gyroscopic behaviour, maintaining the belief that some form of reactionless propulsion could be derived from them.


Once again though he made history by being the only person to present a Christmas lecture a second time and that happened in One letter, in particular, caught his eye: His subsequent doctoral work started his interest in linear induction motors. The track uses both levitation coils and linear induction motors and it can be seen in the “Magnets” episode of Modern Marvels on the History Channel.

A mile of track was built and a full-scale levitating locomotive tested. November 12th, at 5: This article needs additional citations for verification.

You can use these tags: He returned to Manchester to teach from towhen he took up his chair at Imperial College, where he remained until he retired in On demobilization inhe attended the University of Manchester to study electrical engineering. His interest had been aroused by an amateur inventor named Alex Jones, who contacted Laithwaite about a reactionless propulsion drive he Jones had invented.

It was sheer curiosity, like Alice following the White Rabbit,” Laithwaite was to say later. He was born on June 14, I remember a Laithwaite lecture for H. It is an essential part of their learning of magnetism.

Colin Grimshaw colingrimshaw says: Eric persuaded me to take up engineering, rather than business, and invited me to the Christmas lectures as well as the infamous RI lecture on gyroscopes. November 29th, at 1: Would it start to spin, and if so how laithaite and in which laithwwaite.


The members of the Royal Institution rejected his ideas and his lectures were not published. Eric Laithwaite was an absolute genius in the way he entertained and educated his audience.

Eric Laithwaite – Wikipedia

Views Read Edit View history. We have a similar situation to Joe Quinnell in the blog above.

March 7th, at 2: In my reic blog on Eric Laithwaite you will find references to both that lecture series and also the second series he was asked to give in It was a very inspiring,motivating and knowledge gathering session coming to this post and laithwzite about the life history and role played by Eric Laithwaite in the history of Science and technology. May 11th, at 8: Anyway, I am sorry if you already know all this.

Would it shoot up in the air? February 27th, at His lectures were genuinely exciting and not just a recitation of facts from a text book.

IC Reporter, Obituary – Professor Eric Laithwaite

A toy gyroscope precesses on ice. I still have and treasure all his books. You can use these tags: