AS1b

200645828

BRIGHT OPARAJI

THE HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE PENDULUM The pendulum is a device consisting of an object suspended from a fixed point that oscillates to and fro from a fixed point under the influence of gravity. Pendulums are found in various engineering laboratories, and are used to perform various experiments such as; the determination 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 the determination 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 and compensation pendulum. Finally the uses and importance of the pendulum in our every day lives. Firstly, moving to the history of the pendulum. In the year 1581 which was in the sixteenth century Galileo at a tender age of 17 gained an admission into the University of Pisa to study medicine. According to the legend of the pendulum, Galileo was in a cathedral but watched how a suspended lamp hanging in the cathedral oscillated to and fro from the point it was hanging on. It was later in the seventeenth century that Galileo went further researching and made 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 used in 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 a fixed point and oscillates to and fro about a given plane. The simple pendulum was not very accurate in determining the time during the summer because, the length of the wire was altered causing the bob oscillate slowly. This event caused scientist to research furthermore about 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 divided into two types namely; the mercury and gridiron pendulum. The pendulum has a glass cylinder partially full of mercury. The effect of the mercury inside the cylinder helps to counter 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.

Group2 sci& eng

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AS1b

200645828

BRIGHT OPARAJI

Finally, the invention of the pendulum has played different important roles in our every day lives. It has been used to solve different purposes such as measuring time, navigation purpose for sailors, destroying unwanted buildings, and also used to determine when and were an earth quake will occur. A pendulum can be used for dowsing purpose, such as the location of water bodies, gold, oil, various natural mineral resources, missing persons, and so on. Presently, dowsers use the pendulum to determine the quality and freshness of water and food. The diamond pendulum is also used for divination purpose such as finding the location of a particular place that you are looking for at a particular time by just simply asking a question about the location of the unknown place, and within a few seconds you get the answer in a clear manner that you feel and understand it. This essay has shown about the initiative of Galileo’s idea about the pendulum, which has played different important roles in our lives. Suppose Galileo didn’t invent the pendulum, things wouldn’t have been the same as we see it presently for example we wouldn’t be able to determine when an earthquake will occur, and sailors will not be able to navigate through the water bodies.

References Rice university (2004) the biography of Galileo galilei [online] Available: htpp://www.cnx.org/content/m11933/latest [accessed 7 July 2004 12:24pm GMT -5] The history of pendulum and Galileo [online] Available:htpp://www.nlpcoach.com.my/kcenter/?page_id=15 Applying dowsing techniques to modern uses of pendulums [online] Available:htpp://www.pendulums.com/practical_uses.html

Group2 sci& eng

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