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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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Some practical properties of quartz

Some practical properties of quartz

(p.23) Chapter 6 Some practical properties of quartz
Accurate Clock Pendulums

Robert James Matthys

Oxford University Press

The big attraction of quartz as a pendulum material is its good dimensional stability over time. Stability over time is the biggest and most needed characteristic in an accurate pendulum. In contrast to invar, which was known to be unstable almost from its beginning, quartz has a long history of being a stable material. Dimensional stability is not the same as low thermal expansion. If a pendulum is temperature compensated, as all accurate pendulums are, then it does not matter much what the thermal expansion coefficient is, so long as the compensation has been done accurately. The accuracy of temperature compensation is limited by factors other than the thermal expansion coefficient. Because of their low density, quartz pendulum rods do have one drawback: they have a much higher sensitivity to barometric pressure changes than invar.

Keywords:   quartz, pendulum, temperature compensation, invar, dimensional stability, thermal expansion, barometric pressure, pendulum rods

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