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]