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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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Finding a pendulum’s axis of rotation

Finding a pendulum’s axis of rotation

(p.19) Chapter 4 Finding a pendulum’s axis of rotation
Accurate Clock Pendulums

Robert James Matthys

Oxford University Press

To determine a pendulum's axis of rotation, a small piece of paper is temporarily mounted on the front of the pendulum rod at the rod's top end, so that the paper extends up an inch or two past the suspension spring. With the pendulum stopped, two small dots (A and B) are marked on the paper about an inch directly above and another inch directly below the top end of the free unclamped part of the suspension spring. Although the one-inch dimensions are not critical, they accurately measure the actual distance between the two dots (A and B). The pendulum must be set swinging at its normal swing amplitude, and an accurate ruler (a six-inch machinist's scale calibrated in decimal inches is ideal) is used to measure the horizontal motion of each dot. The location of the axis of rotation changes slightly with the pendulum's swing amplitude.

Keywords:   pendulum, axis of rotation, pendulum rod, suspension spring, swing amplitude, horizontal motion

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