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The Historical Development of the Pendulum[1]

The Historical Development of the Pendulum[1]

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Published by: nautics1 on Mar 24, 2009
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05/10/2014

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AS1b200645828BRIGHT OPARAJI
THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE PENDULUM
The pendulum is a device consisting of an object suspended from a fixed point that oscillatesto and fro from a fixed point under the influence of gravity. Pendulums are found in variousengineering laboratories, and are used to perform various experiments such as; thedetermination of the potential and kinetic energy of a body with respect to gravity. In our  present time the theory behind the pendulum is used for different purposes such as thedetermination of time, navigation purposes, destroying unwanted buildings and so on.The outline of this discussion will be divided into three areas; firstly, the history and further development of the pendulum, then moving to the types of pendulum such as the simple andcompensation pendulum. Finally the uses and importance of the pendulum in our every daylives.Firstly, moving to the history of the pendulum. In the year 1581 which was in the sixteenthcentury Galileo at a tender age of 17 gained an admission into the University of Pisa to studymedicine. According to the legend of the pendulum, Galileo was in a cathedral but watchedhow a suspended lamp hanging in the cathedral oscillated to and fro from the point it washanging on. It was later in the seventeenth century that Galileo went further researching andmade a notable discovery about the pendulum. Galileo calculated the period in which the pendulum oscillated to and fro from a fixed point, which brought about the invention of the pendulum clock. The principle behind Galileo’s theory about the pendulum was further usedin the development of the global positioning system (GPS) which is commonly used in our  present daily lives for navigation purpose.Secondly, the pendulum is divided into 2 types namely; the simple and compensation pendulums. The simple pendulum is that in which the bob is suspended on a wire from afixed point and oscillates to and fro about a given plane. The simple pendulum was not veryaccurate in determining the time during the summer because, the length of the wire wasaltered causing the bob oscillate slowly. This event caused scientist to research furthermoreabout the pendulum, and came out with another type of pendulum called the compensation pendulum. The compensation pendulum is a type of pendulum that keeps the movement of the bob accurate regardless of change in temperature. The compensation pendulum is dividedinto two types namely; the mercury and gridiron pendulum. The pendulum has a glasscylinder partially full of mercury. The effect of the mercury inside the cylinder helps tocounter balance the downward expansion of the pendulum. The steels in the gridiron pendulum keep the wire at a specific length thereby making the time keeping accurate.
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