Foucault Pendulum : New Parliament
A Foucault pendulum has been installed inside the new Parliament which is designed by the National Council of Science Museums, Kolkata.
- Invented by French physicist Léon Foucault in the mid-19th Century, the pendulum provided the first laboratory demonstration in history to show that the Earth spins on its axis.
- The pendulum in the new Parliament is meant to symbolise the ‘integration of the idea of India with that of the universe’.
- The pendulum consists of a heavy bob suspended at the end of a long, strong wire from a fixed point in the ceiling.
- As the pendulum swings, the imaginary surface across which the wire and the bob swipe is called the plane of the swing.
- It helped us understand that the Earth is rotating or spinning. As it swings back and forth, it seems to change its direction over time.
- This happens because while the pendulum swings, the Earth is spinning beneath making it look like the pendulum is changing its direction.
- This effect is called the Coriolis effect. Depending on where you are on Earth, the pendulum will appear to rotate in different ways.
- By observing this rotation, scientists like Foucault were able to prove that the Earth is spinning on its axis.