Foucault's pendulum

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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.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Incidents in the Night immediately calls to mind postmodern works: Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, Borges's short story "The Library of Babel," and Umberto Ecos Foucaults Pendulum. Simultaneously, you are drawn into the nooks and crevices of a private detective story.