Foucault's pendulum

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Animation of the pendulum at the Pantheon in Paris, with the Earth's rotation rate greatly exaggerated. The green trace shows the path of the pendulum bob over the ground (a rotating reference frame), while in any vertical plane. The actual plane of swing appears to rotate relative to the Earth. The wire needs to be as long as possible.


From the French physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault


Foucault's pendulum (plural Foucault's pendulums)

  1. A pendulum on a long wire, free to move in any direction; the plane of its motion appears to turn (clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere) as the world turns beneath it.


See also[edit]