Rockett, Frank H. Engineering Consultant, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A pendulum or swinging weight, supported by a long wire, by which J. B. L. Foucault demonstrated in 1851 the rotation of Earth on its axis. Foucault used a 62-lb (28-kg) iron ball suspended on about a 200-ft (60-m) wire in the Pantheon in Paris. The upper support of the wire restrains the wire only in the vertical direction. The bob is set swinging along a meridian in pure translation (no lateral or circular motion). In the Northern Hemisphere the plane of swing appears to turn clockwise; in the Southern Hemisphere it appears to turn counterclockwise, the rate being 15 degrees times the sine of the local latitude per sidereal hour. Thus, at the Equator the plane of swing is carried around by Earth and the pendulum shows no apparent rotation; at either pole the plane of swing remains fixed in space while Earth completes one rotation each sidereal day. See also: Day; Inertial navigation system; Pendulum; Schuler pendulum
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information