Léon Foucault (1819-1868), after having observed the working of a lathe, reasoned that a pendulum might operate in a similar manner to show rotation between the earth and the inertial field, and thus, in his view, demonstrate the ro¬tation of the earth. He built a small apparatus in a basement in Paris to test this idea and pronounced his ‘successes’ at 2 am on Jan 8, 1851.
Following this he was invited to set up his wonder of wonders at the Paris Observatory which led to an invitation from none other than Napoleon III to build a very large exhibit in the Pantheon in Paris. Hanging from a dome 220 feet above, a huge bob swung across a 20-foot diameter ring containing wet sand, leaving a grove as it passed through. As it swung in time, it continued to cut out new ridges until it formed a curve…
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