Next Article in Journal
The Limitations on the Use of the IMO CSS Code in Project Cargo—Case Study: Grillage Design for the Sea Transport of Gas Slug Catchers
Previous Article in Journal
Springback Prediction in Sheet Metal Forming, Based on Finite Element Analysis and Artificial Neural Network Approach
Open AccessArticle

Friction and Dynamics of Verge and Foliot: How the Invention of the Pendulum Made Clocks Much More Accurate

Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 3200 N Cramer St, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Mech. 2020, 1(2), 111-122; https://doi.org/10.3390/applmech1020008
Received: 1 April 2020 / Revised: 25 April 2020 / Accepted: 27 April 2020 / Published: 29 April 2020
The tower clocks designed and built in Europe starting from the end of the 13th century employed the “verge and foliot escapement” mechanism. This mechanism provided a relatively low accuracy of time measurement. The introduction of the pendulum into the clock mechanism by Christiaan Huygens in 1658–1673 improved the accuracy by about 30 times. The improvement is attributed to the isochronicity of small linear vibrations of a mathematical pendulum. We develop a mathematical model of both mechanisms. Using scaling arguments, we show that the introduction of the pendulum resulted in accuracy improvement by approximately π/μ ≈ 30 times, where μ ≈ 0.1 is the coefficient of friction. Several historic clocks are discussed, as well as the implications of both mechanisms to the history of science and technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: verge and foliot; horology; tower clocks; oscillations; pendulum verge and foliot; horology; tower clocks; oscillations; pendulum
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Blumenthal, A.S.; Nosonovsky, M. Friction and Dynamics of Verge and Foliot: How the Invention of the Pendulum Made Clocks Much More Accurate. Appl. Mech. 2020, 1, 111-122.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop