Seven Tales Of The Pendulum

Hardcover | March 17, 2011

byGregory L. Baker

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The pendulum is a unique physical system which exhibits remarkably varied and complex behavior under many different conditions. It is also a system which, in its many manifestations, has left a significant imprint on human thought and culture. Using graphs, figures, and narrative to explainscientific ideas and models, Gregory Baker gives a lucid account of the physics of the pendulum, showing the reader how the context of the pendulum progresses over four centuries from that of a simple system of classical physics, to that of a chaotic system, and eventually to that of a modernquantum system. He also describes its fascinating presence in cultural history, from its role in timekeeping and measurements of the earth to its importance as a literary symbol of doom. Seven 'tales', detailing different important facets of the pendulum, show the exciting diversity of the science of the pendulum, and its untold significance in the history of human intellectual development.

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The pendulum is a unique physical system which exhibits remarkably varied and complex behavior under many different conditions. It is also a system which, in its many manifestations, has left a significant imprint on human thought and culture. Using graphs, figures, and narrative to explainscientific ideas and models, Gregory Baker giv...

Gregory L. Baker was born and educated in Toronto receiving his B.Sc. in mathematics and physics from the University of Toronto, and his M.Sc and Ph.D. in physics, also from the University of Toronto. He has taught physics and mathematics at Bryn Athyn College since 1970, retiring from fulltime involvement in 2007. His scholarly inter...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:248 pagesPublished:March 17, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199589518

ISBN - 13:9780199589517

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Table of Contents

Part I: IntroductionWhat is a Pendulum?Part II: Seven Tales of the Pendulum1. Pendulums measure the earth2. Pendulums keep Time3. Pendulums measure fundamental forces4. Pendulums swing high5. Pendulums go chaotic6. Pendulums stick together7. Pendulums in the smallPart III: ConclusionOdds and the End Further ReadingGlossary of Terms

Editorial Reviews

"A good popular science book will uncover the hidden workings of familiar mechanisms, push this understanding through to lesser known phenomena, and reveal links between apparently disparate branches of science, nature, history and culture. Seven Tales of the Pendulum achieves each of these inan easy, readable style. The book swings through a wide arc of topics, from classical applications of the pendulum as an experimental tool, a time-keeper, and a symbolic artefact, to more modern uses, including chaos theory, synchronization and quantum physics. A good mix of precise descriptions,clear diagrams, and interesting anecdotes make this an enjoyable and informative read." --Rob Sturman, University of Leeds