Towards a high-performance Foucault pendulum for the measurement of relativistic gravity

Cartmell, Matthew P. and Lockerbie, Nicholas A. and Faller, James E. (2021) Towards a high-performance Foucault pendulum for the measurement of relativistic gravity. In: NODYCON 2021 - Second International Nonlinear Dynamics Conference, 2021-02-16 - 2021-02-19.

[thumbnail of Cartmell-etal-NODYCON-2021-Towards-a-high-performance-Foucault-pendulum-for-the-measurement-of-relativistic-gravity] Video (Cartmell-etal-NODYCON-2021-Towards-a-high-performance-Foucault-pendulum-for-the-measurement-of-relativistic-gravity)
Cartmell_etal_NODYCON_2021_Towards_a_high_performance_Foucault_pendulum_for_the_measurement_of_relativistic_gravity.mp4

Download (90MB)

    Abstract

    The Foucault pendulum has become one of the fundamental experiments of physics since Léon Foucault's famous demonstration of a 67 metre pendulum with a 22 kg bob mass at the Panthéon in Paris in 1851. This paper attempts to show that Foucault's fundamental experiment could perhaps be developed into a highly sensitive measurement system capable of resolving the tiny precessional motions of relativistic frame-dragging. The authors have shown that their mathematical model of a Foucault pendulum performs extremely well in terms of predicting the Newtonian rotation of the Earth. The model takes account of latitude and incorporates parametric excitation of the length as a harmonic modulating motion of ≤ 0.01 of the nominal pendulum length. The main aim of the ongoing work discussed in this paper is to try to resolve the tiny motions of Lense-Thirring frame-dragging precession, for which we confirm that a first approximation prediction at a chosen terrestrial latitude can be obtained through an analogy between Maxwellian electrodynamics and gravitoelectromagnetism. A new experimental measurement will require an increase in resolution of at least 2 × 10' over that required for measuring the Newtonian rotation of the Earth.

    ORCID iDs

    Cartmell, Matthew P. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3982-6315, Lockerbie, Nicholas A. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1678-3260 and Faller, James E.;