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63.3 MB (10.6 MB compressed)
5760 x 3840 pixels
48.8 x 32.5 cm ⏐ 19.2 x 12.8 in (300dpi)
RICHARD GERMAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD GERMAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The trajectory of a pendulum, as seen from below. The pendulum bob is equipped with a white punctual light source, which emits in all directions. The ellipse traced during each cycle undergoes a precession, or a rotation of the major axis. As the amplitude increases relatively to the length of the pendulum, the period, or the time to complete a to and fro cycle, tends to increase also (non-harmonic oscillator). Since the amplitude of the major axis of the ellipse is greater than that of the minor axis, the periods of the major and minor axes are different, which causes the axes to oscillate out of phase and rotate.
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