Léon Foucault And His Pendulum Get A Google Doodle

By: Zach Walton - September 18, 2013

Jean Bernard Léon Foucault, a French physicist from the 19th century, was honored today with an animated Google Doodle on the 194th anniversary of his birthday.

Born on September 18, 1819, Léon Foucault studied to become a doctor in his early life. He soon switched to physics after discovering he suffered from hemophobia. It was this switch to physics that afforded him his place in history as not only the creator of the Foucault Pendulum, but also as one of the first people to accurately measure the speed of light.

Going back to today’s Google Doodle, you’ll see that it’s an animated Foucault pendulum. The device slowly swings back and forth while moving clockwise. It was an experiment originally designed to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation, but has since become a common art fixture in many locations around the world.

As today’s Google Doodle is interactive, you’ll definitely want to check it out yourself. If you can’t, here’s a vide of the Doodle from SimonRueger:

If you want to see a Foucault pendulum for yourself, here’s a list of every one in existence.

[Image: Google]

About the Author

Zach WaltonZach Walton is a Writer for WebProNews. He specializes in gaming and technology. Follow him on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Google+ +Zach Walton

View all posts by Zach Walton
  • shelli

    Thanks for the info. I would have liked to get a better explanation of how the pendulum works and how it proves the earth’s rotation. Most especially, I would like to know who designed and created the Google graphics. Not just this one, but every time there’s a google graphic. They are so amazing, credit should be given and the talent involved celebrated.

  • Andrinoc

    Great animation! I agree with Shelli that the artist and computer engineer who design these nice animations and graphics should be recognized. A constructive comment: At the 49th second of the video, the phrase “Do you have heard of the Foucault Pendulum before?” should be: Have you heard of the Foucault Pendulum before?”

    Yes, I had heard about it. Great man! And the best is that he found his true calling in life: Physics.