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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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Sinusoidal drive of a pendulum

Sinusoidal drive of a pendulum

(p.227) Chapter 33 Sinusoidal drive of a pendulum
Accurate Clock Pendulums

Robert James Matthys

Oxford University Press

A sinusoidal drive is believed to be ideal for a pendulum. In 1960, an experiment was carried out demonstrating a semi-sinusoidal pendulum drive consisting of a sinusoid with its peaks clipped off. Here, a pendulum-mounted coil moving in a fixed magnetic field was used to generate a sinusoidal velocity signal. The peaks of this sinusoidal signal were then clipped off at a fixed amplitude, using a parallel reversed set of two diodes and two batteries. The peak-clipped sine wave was then fed to a second pendulum-mounted coil moving in another fixed magnetic field. The magnetic force generated the peak-clipped sine wave current in the second coil drove the pendulum and kept it running. In 1993, a very simple semi-sinusoidal drive circuit that had only one op-amp and one coil-and-magnet structure instead of two was reported. The drive coil both senses and drives the pendulum. The pendulum's drive force is also a peak-clipped sine wave. In this chapter, four electronic circuits for sinusoidally or semi-sinusoidally driving a pendulum are analysed, and their pros and cons discussed.

Keywords:   sinusoidal drive, pendulum, semi-sinusoidal drive, sine wave, magnetic force, drive coil, electronic circuits

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