The Foucault Pendulum

A short discussion by Professor B. Nickel, Physics Department, University of Guelph.

The operating Foucault pendulum in the foyer of the McNaughton building is both a work of art and an enchanting mechanical device. That it illustrates the rotation
of the earth is described on the dedication plaque on the pillar supporting the pendulum. Here we would like to share with you some more of the things we have
learned --- how it came to be, how it works, some of the data it has generated, what it teaches us, .... Enjoy and feel free to take your own measurements!

Besides the history and short explanation we suggest measurements you might make if you come to visit and observe our pendulum. We end with a discussion of the fundamental questions that an observation of the Foucault pendulum brings to mind and for which we have as yet no answer. There is also a list of books and articles from which much of our information comes.

See our pendulum in action: click here
 
 
 

Go directly to the section discussing: 
History
The Effect
Coriolis Effect and the Weather
Results
Fundamental Questions
Readings
Details (for the advanced student)

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