[time-nuts] A different timenuts interest

Bill Hawkins bill at iaxs.net
Wed Jul 21 22:31:33 EDT 2010

Well, Morris, this does sound interesting.

You've had some pretty conventional replies, so let's up the ante a bit.

If you need to know where something macroscopic is in space, attach a GPS
receiver to it. Then program some PIC device (lots of advice about that on
this list) to compute optimum impulse points after calculating an error that
can be corrected by the minimum possible impulse.

NASA could advise you about small impulse rocket systems. They may even have
a few Space Shuttle micro thrusters and fuel systems for sale. You may be
able to drop fuel and oxidizer into the tanks at certain positions of the

The bob on a Foucault pendulum is usually quite massive, so there's no
why it can't be inexpensive lead-acid batteries that are recharged by solar

I'm sure you'd save money over mechanisms to move the pivot or huge magnets
buried in the floor.

Given present unemployment levels, you may be able to hire a person to
impulses to the bob as required. But most of the world has automated such
systems because people are not reliable.

Heck, you could build a pendulum and a metaphor for our times.

Best regards,
Bill Hawkins (also on Jack's BA list)

-----Original Message-----
From: time-nuts-bounces at febo.com [mailto:time-nuts-bounces at febo.com] On
Behalf Of Morris Odell
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:13 PM
To: time-nuts at febo.com
Subject: [time-nuts] A different timenuts interest

Hi all,

I have been asked to help with the construction of a Foucault pendulum. This
is a long pendulum which oscillates in a slow stately fashion in a fixed
plane which appears to move as the earth rotates. In reality the surrounding
environment is really moving relative to the plane of oscillation.

The pendulum requires a sustaining system to compensate for the inevitable
energy loss with each swing. The system is located in the building and
therefore rotates relative to the pendulum. It needs to provide an impulse
which does not affect the plane of oscillation of the pendulum. I was
thinking of an electromagnet located below the centre of the swing which
would be pulsed appropriately as the bob passes over it.

Has anyone here had any experience with such a system of have any
suggestions regarding the sustaining system? This is an interesting and
challenging project.



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