Foucault Pendulum for demonstrating the Earth's rotation

Made:
1988 in Cambridge and England
designer:
Brian Pippard
maker:
Cavendish Laboratory

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Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Foucault pendulum, 1988. ade by Professor Brian Pippard in the workshops of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, Kent
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Professor Pippard with Foucault Pendulum mechanism, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Cavendish Laboratory in
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Professor Pippard with Foucault Pendulum mechanism, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Cavendish Laboratory in
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Foucault pendulum designed by AB Pippard and built at the Cavendish- Laboratory, Cambridge, including suspension,
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Foucault pendulum designed by A.B. Pippard and built at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, including suspension, sustaining mechanism and bob

Made in the workshops of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, this Foucault Pendulum has been demonstrating the Earth's rotation at the Science Museum since1988. Unlike its predecessor, this pendulum runs continually, so avoiding the need to re-swing the pendulum each hour. It was designed by Prof. Brian Pippard (1920-2008). A moveable scale indicates time against the angle rotated. Gently raising and lowering the pendulum pivot, using a motor in conjunction with a sensor, keeps the pendulum in motion. Known as parametric amplification, it uses the same principle that keeps a child's swing in motion. The French physicist Leon Foucault (1819-1868) conceived the display and first demonstrated it at the Parisian Pantheon in 1851.

On display

Science Museum: Pippard Pendulum Exhibition

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1988-447
Measurements:
bob: 200 mm 85 mm,
type:
demonstration model
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
credit:
Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge)
status:
Permanent collection

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