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Profesor Pippard with Foucault Pendulum mechanism, 1988.

ScM Photo Studio

Profesor Pippard with Foucault Pendulum mechanism, 1988.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 25cm x 32cm


Made in the workshops of the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, Kent, this Foucault Pendulum has been demonstrating the Earth's rotation at the Science Museum in London since 1988. Unlike its predecesor, this pendulum runs continually, so avoiding the need to re-swing the pendulum each hour. In this 1988 view, its designer Profesor Brian Pippard is shown standing next to the moveable scale, which 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 which keeps a child's swing in motion.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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