Brass Foucault pendulum bob and suspension piece made respectively in the Physics Laboratory and Mechanical Laboratory of the Royal College of Science in 1883, with a divided brass arc on a wooden board with lapse time clock indicator dial and wooden bob stand made in the Science Museum workshop, 1928. Set up in a stair well in the Western Galleries [1883-1920s] and then the Science Museum [1920s-1988]
Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College) in 1883, this Foucault Pendulum demonstrated the rotation of the Earth at the Science Museum until1988. Designed by Prof. Brian Pippard, its replacement that runs continually so avoiding the need to re-swing the pendulum each hour. In this 1988 view, the pendulum is shown being re-set by Rebecca Walker a member of staff. It is held at the end of its swing by a leather strap with cord attached to a hook. Once motionless, the pendulum is released by burning through the thread with a match. The French physicist Leon Foucault, who conceived the display, first demonstrated it at the Parisian Patheon in 1851.
- Object Number:
scale: 120 x 2050 x 750 mm
wire length : 1883-1920s: 17.3806 m
wire length: 1920s-1988: 24.0888 m
- natural sciences
- physical sciences
- Normal School of Science (Astronomical Laboratory)
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.