Variations on Simple Pendulums

  • L. P. PookEmail author
Part of the History of Mechanism and Machine Science book series (HMMS, volume 12)


The simple rod pendulum is a convenient idealisation of the real pendulums often used to control clocks. Compound pendulum is the term used by horologists for a real clock pendulum, as opposed to an simple rod pendulum where the rod is assumed to be rigid and massless, with pendulum mass concentrated at a point. In a real clock pendulum, the rod is relatively light, but not rigid and massless, and the bob is heavy, but its mass is not concentrated at a point. The term is also applied to an idealisation of a compound pendulum that are used in order to make mathematical analysis more tractable. This idealisation is discussed. Analysis of simple rod pendulums and idealised compound pendulums does not always provide an explanation of the behaviour of real clock pendulums, so other idealisations are sometimes needed. Other types of pendulum are used in scientific, industrial and recreational applications, and appropriate idealisations are needed. Idealisations of several types of pendulum are described in. Except for idealisations of compound pendulums, these idealisations are all assembled from components of simple rod pendulums or simple string pendulums. Most can display chaotic behaviour.


Point Mass Chaotic Behaviour Torsional Mode Rest Position Compound Pendulum 
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.KentUK

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