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Pen′du-lum

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Pendulums
(#)
.
[NL., fr. L.
pendulus
hanging, swinging. See
Pendulous
.]
A body so suspended from a fixed point as to swing freely to and fro by the alternate action of gravity and momentum. It is used to regulate the movements of clockwork and other machinery.
☞ The time of oscillation of a pendulum is independent of the arc of vibration, provided this arc be small.
Ballistic pendulum
.
See under
Ballistic
.
Compensation pendulum
,
a clock pendulum in which the effect of changes of temperature of the length of the rod is so counteracted, usually by the opposite expansion of differene metals, that the distance of the center of oscillation from the center of suspension remains invariable; as, the
mercurial compensation pendulum
, in which the expansion of the rod is compensated by the opposite expansion of mercury in a jar constituting the bob; the
gridiron pendulum
, in which compensation is effected by the opposite expansion of sets of rods of different metals.
Compound pendulum
,
an ordinary pendulum; – so called, as being made up of different parts, and contrasted with
simple pendulum
.
Conical pendulum
or
Revolving pendulum
,
a weight connected by a rod with a fixed point; and revolving in a horizontal circle about the vertical from that point.
Pendulum bob
,
the weight at the lower end of a pendulum.
Pendulum level
,
a plumb level. See under
Level
.
Pendulum wheel
,
the balance of a watch.
Simple pendulum
or
Theoretical pendulum
,
an imaginary pendulum having no dimensions except length, and no weight except at the center of oscillation; in other words, a material point suspended by an ideal line.

PEND'ULUM

,
Noun.
[L. pendulus, pendulum.] A vibrating body suspended from a fixed point; as the pendulum of a clock. The oscillations of a pendulum depend on gravity, and are always performed in nearly equal times, supposing the length of the pendulum and the gravity to remain the same.

pendulum

English

Noun

pendulum (plural pendulums or pendula) (See usage notes.)

1. A body suspended from a fixed support so that it swings freely back and forth under the influence of gravity, commonly used to regulate various devices such as clocks.

Usage notes

The plural form pendula is significantly rarer than pendulums; see etymology at pendula for details. However, pendula is occasionally used in physics.