Foucault’s pendulum

1851

Foucault’s pendulum

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Léon Foucault geodesy

Foucault’s pendulum

Explanations

Beauty and motion

Hans discovered that the light rain that slanted toward him when he moved with the light wind slanted away from him when he stood still.The Complete Hans Hans

Human society is still adjusting to the discovery that the earth is tilted and revolves. Adjusting our clocks twice a year and adding an extra day to our calendar on leap years are our attempts to map an irrational universe to our ideal of order. Foucault’s pendulum delights us mainly because it is a surprise that a swinging object seems to rotate. It doesn’t rotate; we are rotating around it; however, we also experience the sun rising in the east and falling to the west. We know that the sun doesn’t actually revolve around the sun, but our habits of perception are comforting.

See also in The book of science:

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