Info-tech

Google's doodle to mark 194th birth anniversary of French physicist Foucault

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018

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Goodle's doodle on Wednesday marks the 194th birth anniversary of French physicist, Jean Bernard Léon Foucault.

Foucault is best known as the inventor of Foucault's pendulum, a pendulum that demonstrated the rotation of the earth.

He is also credited with making an early measurement of the speed of light; and with the discovery of electric currents induced within conductors by a changing magnetic field in the conductor (Foucault currents).

Born in 1819, Foucault initially, studied medicine. He later began studying physics.

After collaborating with fellow physicist Hippolyte Fizeau on a series of investigations into the intensity of the light of the sun; Foucault  made his name with a demonstration at the Panthéon in Paris in 1851. The experiment involved suspending a 28kg pendulum from the building's dome.

The experiment demonstrated the earth's rotation. The plane of the motion (of the pedulum), represented the Earth's clockwise rotation along its axis.

The physicist's name features amongst the 72 French scientists, engineers, and mathematicians whose names are engraved on the Eiffel Tower. He died in Paris in 1868, at age 48.

In the doodle representing the Foucault pendulum is an interactive one. Through controls on the right, users replicate changes in the trajectory of the Earth's rotation.

Quite like the original pendulum, it knocks down pins at different positions as time elapses and the Earth rotates.

The Google logo is represented through inscriptions on the ground below the pendulum

abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 18, 2013

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