World’s smallest Optical Gyroscope


Gyroscope, a device used for controlling or measuring the orientation and angular velocity. It works on the principle of Conservation of Angular Momentum. This help vehicles, drones, and wearable electronics to know their position in 3D space. It is in the form of a group of Wheels, spins on a different axis.

Today in every smartphone, we can find a Microelectromechanical sensor measuring the orientation changes. These are less sensitive. To increase the sensitivity, researchers found Optical gyroscope which performs the same function with high sensitivity and greater accuracy using the effect called Sagnac Effect.

Sagnac Effect:

This effect is grown from Einstein’s theory of General relativity. To create it, a beam of light is split into two, and the twin beams travel in opposite directions along a circular pathway, then meet at the same light detector. Light travels at a constant speed, so rotating the device — and with it the pathway that the light travels — causes one of the two beams to arrive at the detector before the other. With a loop on each axis of orientation, this phase shift, known as the Sagnac effect, used to calculate orientation.

Optical Gyroscope:

The Optical gyroscope is quite bigger than a golf ball and not suitable for many applications. As it is made smaller in size, the sagnac effect not detected well. To overcome this, scientist designed a new gyroscope 500 times smaller than the current state of the art device, yet detects the phase shift more than the normal one.

This performance achieved by a technique called Reciprocal sensitivity Enhancement. The reciprocal indicates that it affects the light inside the gyroscope in the same way. As the Sagnac effect is the difference between the beams of light traveling in the opposite direction. The light travels through the pipeline like structure that carries light and performs function same as wires do for electricity. The outside interference might affect the beams. Researchers found a way to reduce this kind of disturbance by increasing the signal to noise ratio and combining the gyro with a chip.


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