Pendulum Clock

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Pendulum Clock

Pendulum clocks were in use right from old days. Buying Clocks like a grandfather pendulum clock today costs a lot of money. So instead you can download and use this simple clock that has a pendulum swinging once every two seconds. Grandfather Clocks were kept running using a Pendulum. A pendulum is a just a weight which is hung a little distance from a pivot point. If you move the pendulum a little from its original position a leave it, the pendulum will swing back to its original position. But once it reaches its original position you moved it from it cannot stop because the inertial will make it move it further away. But the pendulum is now following a cicrular path. So the pendulum will start rising up as it moves further and further away from its original position following the circular path.

Pendulum Clock Static Stability

As the pendulum starts rising upwards, gravity starts pulling it down. So, by the time the pendulum reaches the height you had lifted it up by moving it away, it comes to a stop and starts coming down and returning back to its lowermost position. But once again it over shoots its original position and continues in its circular path reaching the same point you had taken it to before releasing and will continue to do this. This is called static stability because the pendulum has a tendency to return back to its original position.

Pendulum Clock Dynamic Stability

In real world, the pendulum clock cannot continue to run for ever because there is friction at the pivot point the pendulum is swinging. Also there is some air resistance. The resistance and friction will need to be overcome by the swinging pendulum A part of the energy is thus lost continuously and the pendulum progressively reaches a height slightly less than the original height and distance from the lowermost point where you had taken the pendulum and released. Finally the the pendulum will come to a stop at its lowermost position. This is called Dynamic stability. In case the pendulum was to continue increasing amplitude and gains more and more height with each swing then it will be called Dynamic Instability. And if the pendulum continues to reach exactly the same point you released and never slow down or accelerate, then the pendulum will continue to swing for ever. This is called Neutral Dynamic Stability.

How Pendulum Clock Works

To keep the pendulum clock working you need to ovecome the friction and air resistance so that the pendulum clock continues to swing the same way without stopping or accelerating. For this a small circular spring is attached which has a key. You have to use the key to wind the circular spring which the store this energy. The spring is connected with a special arrangement which keeps giving just enough energy from the spring to the pendulum to overcome the friction and air resistance and thus the pendulum will continue to swing the same way as long as the spring is compeletely unwound and the pendulum stops swinging. Then you need to wind the pendulum once again. The pendulum is attached to some gears which will run the seconds, hour and minutes needles on the pendulum clock dial. This is how the pendulum clock works.

Pendulum Clock Formula

T=2π√T/√G   This the formula for finding the time T for small swings of a pendulum of length L where G is the gravitaional constant and T is the time required to complete one complete swing (swing from one top position to the other and return back) Thus human beings started using a pendulum to keep time on a clock dial with hour, minute and seconds needles. Pendulum clocks are used even today when quartz crystal and electronics are the preferred to make clocks. Grandfather clocks with huge ornamental pendulums hanging about one to two meters below the clock dial is the ultimate style statement in most rich and famous houses, palaces and even government offices. Pendulum clocks are here to stay as long as there are people who admire the elegance and beauty of pendulum clocks.


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