Mechanics/Dynamics/Motion

Rotating Pendulum

This pendulum swings independently of the motion of its rotating base. The pendulum is set in motion by pulling the brass ball at the pendulum's end to one of the black lines on the white ring and letting it go. The base can then be rotated with a wooden handle. The path of the ball remains constant between the same two points while the white ring rotates around it. This exhibit is modeled after a giant pendulum, called a Foucault pendulum, which swings independent of the earth's rotation. While the giant pendulum appears to rotate relative to the earth, it is actually the earth which rotates beneath the pendulum.


  • Conservation of Angular Momentum
  • Coriolis Effect
  • Frames of Reference-Galilean
  • Pendular Motion