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History of measuring g

by toto93
Tags: history, measuring
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Dec1-12, 01:41 PM
P: 6
Hi, I have to write a report on measuring g using a simple pendulum and I wanted to get a bit of the background. I understand that a pendulum was the best way to measure g up until about a century ago but did we use anything before that?
Also what kind of methods have taken over?

I've tried looking up it's history but all I'm getting back are various things about how it's defined or the pendulum method. Anyway, any help is appreciated, thanks.
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Dec1-12, 02:06 PM
Integral's Avatar
P: 7,318
Galileo did it first.
Dec2-12, 11:35 AM
P: 111
As far as what kinds of methods have been used since, I would look up Kater's Pendulum as well as the Cavendish Balance.

People are still using the Cavendish balance (though in a much more modern version) to measure 'G' apparently:

Dec2-12, 02:42 PM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 39,533
History of measuring g

Note in dydxforsn's post the Cavendish balance is use to measure "G", not "g"! Be sure you understand the difference.
Dec2-12, 02:49 PM
P: 6
Okay thanks. I understand the difference between G and g but it's still been helpful just to get a bit of background knowledge anyway. I think I'm good as far as the history goes now, I'm just getting down to writing about the limitations of a pendulum. Modelling it as ideal, energy lost, that kind of thing. Anyway, thanks for the help!

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