Foucault Pendulum for demonstrating the Earth's rotation, 1883

Made:
1883 in London
maker:
Science Museum
and
Royal College of Science
Announcement board for release of pendulum. 3/4 view. Black graduated background Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College) in 1883, this Foucault Pendulum Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College) in 1883, this Foucault Pendulum Resetting Foucault's Pendulum, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College Resetting Foucault's Pendulum, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College Resetting Foucault's Pendulum, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College Foucault pendulum (brass bob) made in physics laboratory Royal College of Science, (RCS, now part of Imperial College Foucault's pendulum. Illustration of the methods of suspension for Foucault's pendulum, showing methods devised by Illustration: Foucault Pendulum, Conditions of Oscillation. From a copy negative, made in 1942, in the Science Museum

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Announcement board for release of pendulum. 3/4 view. Black graduated background
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College) in 1883, this Foucault Pendulum
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College) in 1883, this Foucault Pendulum
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Resetting Foucault's Pendulum, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Resetting Foucault's Pendulum, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Resetting Foucault's Pendulum, 1988. Made in the workshops of the Royal College of Science (now Imperial College
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Foucault pendulum (brass bob) made in physics laboratory Royal College of Science, (RCS, now part of Imperial College
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Foucault's pendulum. Illustration of the methods of suspension for Foucault's pendulum, showing methods devised by
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Illustration: Foucault Pendulum, Conditions of Oscillation. From a copy negative, made in 1942, in the Science Museum
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

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.

Details

Category:
Astronomy
Object Number:
1883-8
Materials:
brass, complete, lead, steel and wood
Measurements:
scale: 120 x 2050 x 750 mm
wire length : 1883-1920s: 17.3806 m
wire length: 1920s-1988: 24.0888 m
type:
demonstration models: foucault pendulum demonstrations
taxonomy:
  • disciplines
  • disciplines
  • science
  • natural sciences
  • physical sciences
credit:
Normal School of Science (Astronomical Laboratory)