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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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A short history of temperature compensation

A short history of temperature compensation

(p.7) Chapter 2 A short history of temperature compensation
Accurate Clock Pendulums

Robert James Matthys

Oxford University Press

This chapter covers the temperature compensation of pendulum clocks. Temperature compensators can be divided into four groups: mercury for medium expansion pendulum rods (iron), gridiron for medium expansion pendulum rods (iron), sleeve for low expansion pendulum rods (invar, quartz), and miscellaneous low accuracy schemes (bimetal, length of the suspension spring, barometer on pendulum, and gears and levers). The story starts in the early 1700s, when people noticed that different metals expanded at different rates. Several clockrnakers independently measured the relative thermal expansions of different metals, with each using his own arbitrary scale of expansion.

Keywords:   temperature compensation, pendulum clocks, mercury, gridiron, sleeve, bimetal, suspension spring, pendulum rods, barometer

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