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Foucault Pendulum

The Foucault pendulum is named after the French physicist Léon Foucault. It’s a simple device which demonstrates the rotation of the Earth.

While it had long been known that the Earth rotates, the introduction of the Foucault pendulum in 1851 was the first simple proof of the rotation in an easy-to-see experiment. Today, Foucault pendulums are popular displays in science museums and universities. – Wikipedia

Foucault pendulum 1


Foucault pendulum 2

There’s a great lesson on this here at GIFtionary (Rotation of Earth and Time Zones)


Google Doodle

Google Doodle

Astronomy -> Motion of the Earth
Physics -> The Scientific Method -> using experiments to test claims
Physics -> Newton’s Laws of Motion -> Inertia
Physics -> Rotational motion

About Foucault Pendulums: California Academy of Sciences

Foucault pendulum GIF

Learning Standards

Next Generation Science Standards

disciplinary core idea (DCI), science and engineering practice (SEP), crosscutting concept (CC),  performance expectation (PE)

Grades 6-8: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
PE- MS-PS2-2 – Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
DCI- MS-PS2.A – The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion.
SEP- Plan an investigation individually and collaboratively and in the design identify independent and dependent variables and controls, what tools are needed to do the gathering, how measurements will be recorded, and how many data are needed to support a claim.
CC- Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales


New York Physical Setting/Earth Science Core Curriculum

Standard 4: Students will understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment and recognize the historical development of ideas in science.
Key Idea 1: The Earth and celestial phenomena can be described by principles of relative motion and perspective

1.1e The Foucault pendulum and the Coriolis effect provide evidence of Earth’s

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