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Foucault Pendulum: How important is release mechanism?

  1. Nov 19, 2015 #1
    I built just a long pendulum in my house in order to start looking at a simple Foucault pendulum "prove the earth moves" event at the science museum I'm helping to start here in Pensacola. It gave me a nicely reliable movement that seemed to show the pattern I was looking for. Every time, it traced out a clockwise set of stripes in some sand.

    But, when looking it up online and researching Foucault's own work, there is a lot of information about a careful release mechanism.

    How careful do I need to be? I don't care if mine damps out pretty quickly, as long as it shows that we are experiencing acceleration due to the rotation of the earth. TIA!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 19, 2015 #2
    We have some "neo-geocentrists" in the area where we are launching our science museum. So, there's that to consider...
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