Sunday, 3 April 2011

Birthdays and Foucault’s pendulum

We collected birthdays at Church today - and I checked in case. Two pairs in 34 so with a bit of luck shuffling and selecting a random 22 or so should end up with at last one pair.

We tried the pendulum: swing is OK but the weight wasn’t enough to sustain the swing long enough to see the rotation. At our latitude, the pendulum would completely rotate in about 31 hours so in 1 hour it should move 11 degrees. Richard has now made two heavier weights so we’ll have another try this week. If it won’t swing long enough, we can calculate the acceleration due to gravity using a smaller pendulum then measure the height of the ceiling using the period of the larger one.

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