[time-nuts] Regulating a pendulum clock
jimlux at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 10 01:30:55 UTC 2010
Bob Holmstrom wrote:
> Food for thought.
> I find it interesting that no one has suggested alternatives to
> improving the performance of a pendulum clock other than controlling it
> with a higher performance clock. If the goal is a better clock why not
> attempt to understand the source of the errors and work on methods to
> control or compensate for them? Teddy Hall has been taken to task for
> using a quartz controlled oscillator to measure the amplitude of a
> pendulum in the control loop of his Littlemore clock.
> Tom Van Baak has developed techniques for analyzing the performance and
> hence potential error sources of pendulum clocks - perhaps he will share
> some of his work here.
> Horological history is full of many attempts at solutions to the
> problem, but it would seem that the creativity of this group might
> generate some new ideas that are more in the spirit of better
> timekeeping than attaching the pendulum to a better oscillator.
Perhaps you really mean "better pendulum (or mechanical) timekeeping",
because by pretty much any measure except aesthetics, vibrating rocks or
atoms does a better job.
Mind you, I think that this is a worthy goal, because complex mechanisms
that work well are a thing of beauty.
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