Yup, a spherical Pendulum…and I don’t just mean the shape of the bob!

A quick introduction :

I am creating this thread to follow my conception, exploration, and construction of a Spherical Pendulum clock. I am no physics professor (or student even), but I do hope to keep the thread very scientifically and mathematically informed. I plan to use Wolfram Alpha for data visualization and interaction and Solidworks for CAD renderings along the way. Through this site I hope to connect with other avid horologists, share unique/unusual ideas, and explore a new mechanical concept. As the project progresses from concept to in-the-metal experimentation I will share my thought process’ and I absolutely welcome any input through questions, comments, concerns etc.

The best place to start is by identifying the Spherical Pendulum which could get VERY scientific but I want to keep the intro relatively concise so here goes.

A Spherical Pendulum is free to move any direction in its 3 dimensional space and has 2 degrees of freedom. The bob of the pendulum moves along the surface of a sphere and its location is defined by Spherical coordinates. A spherical pendulum is capable of demonstrating the same behaviors as a simple pendulum (single plane oscillations), a conical pendulum (swinging in circles tracing a cone) and many more behaviors dependent upon its initial starting and driving conditions.

Some initial research has brought forward many unique aspects to this concept and I’ve listed some of the more interesting bits below as food for thought. Some of these may help contribute to an accurate mechanical clock, and some may be detrimental to the project.

*Two degrees of freedom capable of expressing resonance

*Conservation of angular momentum-constant precession of an elliptic orbit

*Stable or Chaotic motions are achievable

….Bring on the Science!

A quick introduction :

I am creating this thread to follow my conception, exploration, and construction of a Spherical Pendulum clock. I am no physics professor (or student even), but I do hope to keep the thread very scientifically and mathematically informed. I plan to use Wolfram Alpha for data visualization and interaction and Solidworks for CAD renderings along the way. Through this site I hope to connect with other avid horologists, share unique/unusual ideas, and explore a new mechanical concept. As the project progresses from concept to in-the-metal experimentation I will share my thought process’ and I absolutely welcome any input through questions, comments, concerns etc.

The best place to start is by identifying the Spherical Pendulum which could get VERY scientific but I want to keep the intro relatively concise so here goes.

A Spherical Pendulum is free to move any direction in its 3 dimensional space and has 2 degrees of freedom. The bob of the pendulum moves along the surface of a sphere and its location is defined by Spherical coordinates. A spherical pendulum is capable of demonstrating the same behaviors as a simple pendulum (single plane oscillations), a conical pendulum (swinging in circles tracing a cone) and many more behaviors dependent upon its initial starting and driving conditions.

Some initial research has brought forward many unique aspects to this concept and I’ve listed some of the more interesting bits below as food for thought. Some of these may help contribute to an accurate mechanical clock, and some may be detrimental to the project.

*Two degrees of freedom capable of expressing resonance

*Conservation of angular momentum-constant precession of an elliptic orbit

*Stable or Chaotic motions are achievable

….Bring on the Science!

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-Nick