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Radboud universityFaculty of ScienceBiologyHOMEHUYGENS BUILDING 4D > Pendulum of Foulcault

Pendulum of Foulcault

With the big Pendulum of Foucault in the entrance of the Huygens building the rotation of the earth is demonstrated. It looks as if the axis of swing of the pendulum would make a full turn in a bit more than 30 hours and 30 minutes (due to the northern latitude of Nijmegen). In reality it is the earth which rotates "under the pendulum", while the pendulum itself conserves its orientation with respect to the universe, thanks to its momentum.
Listen to the explanation on the mechanism in the video of Professor Jim LaBelle (Darmouth; engelstalig). Find further explanations on the principle according to which the pendulum works, or mathematical and physical descriptions of the phenomenon and background information on the pendulum on Wikipedia.)
Foucault's pendulum in the Huygens building - movie Liesbeth Pierson
Foucault pendulum in the Huygens building; photograph Dick van Aalst
Launching of Foucault's pendulum in the Huygens building by queen Beatrix; photo ESP
The pendulum of Foucault in the Huygens building
Short video of the launching of the Foucault pendulum by queen Beatrix: mov (2330KB) or gif (1995KB)

last modified: 1 Jan 2012