ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Foucault's Pendulum, or One of the Main Demonstrations of Earth's Rotation

Updated on April 11, 2018

Earth's rotation was a matter of study that took origin with the Greeks in the V a.C, and many proofs of this were given, taking as main example the existence of day and night. However, it was not until the XIX century that an explanation based on an analysis from the Earth, and not on the sky analysis, was given by the distinguished physicist Leon Foucault.

Pendulum Fundamentals

Firstly, we must start with a brief explanation of the functioning of a pendulum. A basic pendulum motion is based on the following principle: when the mass is displaced from the equilibrium position, there will appear a restoring force due to gravity in order to return it back, but due to the mass of the pendulum, there will be an oscillatory movement back and forth from that equilibrium position. Assuming that the pendulum will not lose energy due to friction, this movement would be repeated forever, and each of the repetitions would be called a period. For a broad explanation of this concept, I strongly recommend the Lectures of MIT professor Walter Lewin, as these concepts are explained in a clearly way to everyone.

Source

Inertial forces

Now, to understand Earth's rotation from this, we need to take into account the concept of relative movement. When we have a system of bodies subjected to different movements(with their respective forces and accelerations), we can use one of the bodies as a system of reference and study the movement of the other with respect to the first one(in fact, we are always doing this in mechanical physics problems, although we take several simplifications). However, when the body in which we attach the system of reference is a rotating body, two inertial forces appear: Coriolis force and centrifugal force. Notice that these forces are called "fictitious", and are used only to allow the application of Newton's laws to a rotating system. They are correction factors that do not exist in a non-accelerating or inertial reference frame.

Source

Earth's rotation problem

This concept application can be clearly seen in our case. Our system will be composed by a main body(where we attach our system of reference): the Earth, and a secondary body in relative movement: our pendulum(Foucault's pendulum). When applying a theoretical analysis, we discover that Foucault's pendulum will have an extra displacement due to Coriolis force, that will cause a modification of its path. It must be noted that the position of the pendulum in Earth is relevant, because as we approach to the equator, Coriolis force will reduce until vanishing, and in them, our pendulum will act as a simple pendulum. In the North and South poles, however, Coriolis force will be maximum, causing the greater displacement.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)