Foucault's pendulum


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Foucault's pendulum

(foo-kohz ) A simple pendulum that demonstrates the rotation of the Earth, first shown by J.B.L. Foucault in 1851. It consists of a massive metal ball that is suspended by a long wire and can swing freely with a minimum amount of friction. The pendulum swings steadily, tracing a straight line on the floor beneath it. The plane in which it swings, however, is observed to rotate during the day as a result of the Earth's rotation. The period of rotation of the plane depends on the latitude of the place: at the poles the plane would appear to move through a complete circle in one sidereal day (23h 56m 4s) while on the equator it would not rotate at all. The pendulum is in fact swinging in a plane that is fixed relative to the stars.
References in periodicals archive ?
99) HHHH H CELEBRATED novelist and essayist Umberto Eco, best known for his historical thriller The Name Of The Rose and his satirical conspiracy tale Foucault's Pendulum, died last year.
The author of The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, and, most recently, Numero zero, as well as many other novels, academic studies and essay collections, passed away on February 19, 2016 at his home in Milan.
The work expresses imagery of the cosmos including circular configurations like planetary orbits, exploding forms that resemble star nurseries and nebula, the mandalas as astronomical maps, and metal spherical counterweights are suspended like planets but also resembling Foucault's pendulum.
His other major and internationally recognized novels are, Foucault's Pendulum (Il pendolo di Foucault), The Island of the Day Before ( L'isola del giorno prima), and The Prague Cemetery ( Il cimitero di Praga).
His other books included Foucault's Pendulum, The Prague Cemetery and The Island Of The Day Before.
Eco, who also wrote the novel Foucault's Pendulum, continued to publish new works with Numero Zero released last year.
Eco, who continued his academic work late in life, continued his literary success with Foucault's Pendulum (1988) about the lost treasure of a sect called the Knights Templar, The Island of the Day Before (1994), Baudolino (2000) and The Prague Cemetery (2010), a novel about the rise of modern anti-Semitism.
A self-appointed kingmaker who regularly brings down governments, depending on how he interprets blowing regional winds, Junblatt oscillates just like Foucault's pendulum which demonstrated the rotation of the Earth.
He included a short chapter analyzing its odious content and nettlesome pedigree in his second novel, Foucault's Pendulum, and revisited the thorny issues of prejudice and plagiarism again in his essay collection, Serendipities.
Eco, author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, presents this book of "confessions" and insight into the art of novel writing.
Eco questions and challenges the parameters of valid interpretation in Foucault's Pendulum, demanding that we consider the retrospectively constructed nature of history, and attend to the challenge of ascertaining the two-way relationship between text and world.
His best-known novels are The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum.