ELECTRIFIED PENDULUM
formerly entitled: Voltage Controlled Pendulum

1999

44 in. x 33 in. x 18 in.

Currently in the collection of the Artist

A thin rod swings freely above a wooden cabinet.   At the tip of the rod is a small magnet that passes over an electrified coil of wire.A knob controls the voltage to the coil.

As the voltage is increased the energized coil repels more powerfully against the rod’s magnetic tip. The swing of the pendulum gradually increases until the its tip travels over the top and goes around, full circle.

What fascinates is the relationship between the metered voltage and the action of the pendulum.  As the pendulum swings higher one gets a feeling of weightless tension that is finally relieved when the pendulum passes "over the top" to become a full rotation. 


 

The Electrified Pendulum has been exhibited at:

2015-16  phaeno museum, Wolfsburg, Germany.
1999  
The Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul. 

Electrified Pendulum

Formerly entitled: Voltage Controlled Pendulum

By Norman Tuck © 1999

44 inches high x 33 inches wide x 18 inches deep.

Pendulum length = 16 ½ inches.

Platform size 23 inches wide x 18 inches deep.

Formerly called Pendulum Wheel.

Shipping Crate Dimensions – 45” x 25” x 34 “  90 Pounds

Suggested Pedestal Size 24” wide x 28” high x 18” deep

 

The Electrified Pendulum consists of a polished wooden cabinet that sits on a pedestal. The cabinet has a slanted top on which is mounted a large volt meter, a single plastic knob, and a wooden, stalk like support..

 

A small ball bearing is mounted onto the wooden support. The bearing has a thin, 16 inch, counterbalanced,  graphite rod radiating from it, like a spoke on the hub of a wheel.  There is no actual wheel rim, only this single spoke, which can swing like a pendulum rod or go entirely around, cutting a 360 degree circle.

 

At the outer end of the rod is a small disk magnet that passes over an electromagnetic coil mounted securely onto the cabinet, directly below the axis of the bearing. The rod is positioned so that it breaks a light beam when the magnet passes above the coil. When this happens, the coil is energized so that it repels the magnet.

 

Thus, the rod swings like a pendulum on the top of the wooden cabinet.  The knob controls the voltage to the coil.  As the voltage is increased the arc of the pendulum increases until the pendulum crosses over the top and goes around in an entire 360 degree circle.

 

The fascinating element of the "Pendulum Wheel" is the relationship between the voltage, as shown on the meter, and the action of the pendulum. As the pendulum approaches the top of its arc the viewer gets a feeling of weightless tension that is relieved when the rod finally passes "over the top". The voltage can be carefully adjusted so that each swing brings up the question: "will the rod pass 'over the top?".

 

After the rod finally passes "over the top", each succeeding swing becomes faster and faster, until it either reaches a terminal velocity or the voltage is decreased.

 

 

How the Electrified Pendulum works.

A thin rod is free to swing above a wooden cabinet.  At the tip of the rod is a small magnet that passes over a coil of wire.

There is a red LED that projects light to a sensor.

When the pendulum is at the bottom of its swing, it interrupts the light between the red LED and the sensor.

When the beam is interrupted by the pendulum, it energizes a coil of wire for a timed period.

When the coil is energized it repels the magnet at the end of the pendulum, causing the pendulum to swing.

A green LED lights up whenever the coil is energized.

A knob controls the voltage to the coil,. This regulates the amount of power that “pushes” the pendulum.

With increased voltage the pendulum will eventually travel a full circle.

 

 

Electrified Pendulum  -  Wall Text

Adjust the voltage until the pendulum almost - but not quite - makes it all the way around.

 

Every time the pendulum passes through the bottom of its swing, it breaks a beam that briefly turns on a yellow electromagnet. The higher the voltage, the larger the push the electromagnet gives to the pendulum.

 

The pendulum moves slowly because it has a counterweight located above the pivot. This increases the mass of the pendulum but balances out part of the accelerating effect of gravity.

 

The electromagnet repels a red magnet mounted on the end of the pendulum.

Exhibition Requirements:

The Electrified Pendulum should be placed on a pedestal that is at least 24 inches wide x 18 inches deep and 28 inches high. In a high traffic environment (science museum) there is a danger that a viewer might grab the thin pendulum rod and break it. Therefore, included is a small console containing a remote voltage control to supplement the one mounted directly on the piece. The remote panel is connected to the piece via a cable.

The Electrified Pendulum has a wall mounted dual 110/220 Volt power supply.