Christian Huygens’ Remarkable Pendulum
The pendulum is curiously related to circular motion in a gravitational field, and its investigation helped lay the foundations of celestial mechanics. With it, the brilliant polymath Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) in the mid-1600s was able deduce the vertical fall of an object in a given time and determine the pull of Earth’s gravity with remarkable accuracy. His results, developed in the course of his invention of the pendulum clock, were used by Newton and, as will be discussed in Chap. 6, gave critical, empirical to support his universal theory of gravitation.
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