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Accurate Clock Pendulums$
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Robert J. Matthys

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529712.001.0001

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Better accuracy from simple pendulums

Better accuracy from simple pendulums

(p.3) Chapter 1 Better accuracy from simple pendulums
Accurate Clock Pendulums

Robert James Matthys

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with simple pendulums and with several things that can be done to improve their accuracy. Most of the items have only a minor effect on accuracy, but they add up. The pendulum should be enclosed in a case to protect it from the air currents of an open room, which will push the pendulum around and give erratic timing. A metal pendulum rod is recommended over a wooden one. If the pendulum is not temperature compensated, a low thermal expansion metal like iron must be chosen for the pendulum rod. If the pendulum is not temperature compensated, the bob must be supported at its bottom edge rather than at its middle or top edge. Other tips: use a low drag bob shape, walls dose to the pendulum cause a problem with relative humidity; slide the top end of the suspension spring up and down through a narrow slot; keep the number of piece parts and mechanical joints in a pendulum to a minimum.

Keywords:   simple pendulums, accuracy, air currents, relative humidity, mechanical joints, pendulum rod, bob, suspension spring

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