Foucault pendulum revisited, the determination of precession angular velocity using Cartesian coordinates

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Sociedade Brasileira de Física


A review on the Foucault pendulum motion is presented using Cartesian coordinates for the ideal case and for small amplitude of oscillations. The choice of referential frames, the formulation and solution of Newton’s differential equation for the non-inertial frame of the Earth and the validity of the approximations used to simplify the determination of the solution are given. Using the angular position of the trajectory cusps, a new method to determine the precession angular velocity of the Foucault pendulum is shown. The pendulum bob trajectories and velocities for the referential frame in rotation with the Earth as well as for the inertial frame are given and the Chevilliet theorem was demonstrated. In addition, the pendulum bob trajectories are shown when an initial velocity is impinged in the direction perpendicular to the pendulum oscillation plane.



Foucault pendulum, precession velocity

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Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física. Sociedade Brasileira de Física, v. 43, p. -, 2021.