Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 9- Round and Round and Round~

Success! Today was a complete success; our group created a potentially completed project. ^_^

At the beginning of the day, we used the fishing wire to reattach the pendulum to our apparatus. At this point, we thought the project was finished, until we realized that we had created the reverse of the concept we were initially trying to represent! The Foucault pendulum shows how, while the pendulum swings in a consistent back-and-forth motion, the earth turns around it, creating the illusion that the pendulum is turning. As you can see in the picture below, the Tetrix mechanism we designed had the pendulum itself turn!

Turning back to the drawing board, we reconstructed our project completely. Andy took over the arch for the pendulum to hang from while I contructed a base to hold the motor in place. A few hours later, this was the abstract and crazy (but sturdy) base I created:

We then attached Andy's frame, which supported the central weight of the pendulum while rotating with the gear on top of the motor. Through trial and error, we learned that it was better to use the U-shaped metal pieces rather than the bars for the frame, and that the frame needed to be wide enough so that the pendulum didn't hit the sides while swinging. After connecting all the necessary electronics and wires (and using another metal piece to prevent them from getting caught in the motor) we tested out the program with the mechanics. The rotation speed was initially much too fast, but after turning the power down to 9 (the lowest it could be and still move), our project was completely successful! Here's both a picture and video of the finished project:


However, since we seem to have more time, there are always little improvements to be made~ perhaps on Monday we'll work out a way to slow down the motor even more!

1 comment:

Bill said...

This is very cool! Are your findings consistent with full scale foucault's pendulum? This will be neat to delve into deeper. Very cool idea. Did you vary the rotational rate to see what effect this has on the system? Could you scale the rotational rate to show how a real foucault's pendulum would work at different latitudes?