The sympathy of two pendulum clocks: Beyond Huygens' observations

J. Pena Ramirez, L.A. Olvera, H. Nijmeijer, J. Alvarez

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71 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper introduces a modern version of the classical Huygens' experiment on synchronization of pendulum clocks. The version presented here consists of two monumental pendulum clocks-ad hoc designed and fabricated-which are coupled through a wooden structure. It is demonstrated that the coupled clocks exhibit 'sympathetic' motion, i.e. the pendula of the clocks oscillate in consonance and in the same direction. Interestingly, when the clocks are synchronized, the common oscillation frequency decreases, i.e. the clocks become slow and inaccurate. In order to rigorously explain these findings, a mathematical model for the coupled clocks is obtained by using well-established physical and mechanical laws and likewise, a theoretical analysis is conducted. Ultimately, the sympathy of two monumental pendulum clocks, interacting via a flexible coupling structure, is experimentally, numerically, and analytically demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23580
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2016


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