Paris – See The Earth Turn

There was no doubt that the earth rotated around a central axis. But there was no way to demonstrate that it actually did. No concrete proof.

Not until January 3, 1851 that is, when Leon Foucault found that long sought proof with the help of an iron ball swinging from a 67 meter wire, suspended first from the dome of the Paris Observatory and a week later from the Pantheon in Paris.

His life presents nothing worth telling
except the discoveries he made
~ Editor, ‘Collected Works of Leon Foucault’

Copy of original Foucault Pendulum – Pantheon, Paris

The basic premise of his experiment was that a rotating object once set in motion would retain its plane of swing with respect to the fixed reference frame, in this case the point of suspension. In simpler terms, the pendulum will only align itself to one plane. Therefore any change in the orientation at ground level betrayed the motion of the earth!! It was that simple!

To comprehend how FAST the earth spins, check out this traveler video of the original Foucault pendulum that was moved to the Musee des Arts et Metiers.

This remarkable man who was bad at math and dropped out of medical school was credited with several more discoveries in his very short life! Here is a list.

And below is a trailer of Foucaults picture book biography that I borrowed the title from

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

57 thoughts on “Paris – See The Earth Turn

    1. I want to check out the Musee des Arts et Metiers this time. Was hoping to get some better shots as well, but your stunning captures are discouraging me from even trying ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I do too ๐Ÿ™‚ I took a few days off last week and am still catching up with blog reading and posting!! Have left the ‘responding to comments’ for this weekend…will hopefully get through the 10 or so posts that I have allowed to pile up! Nice to meet you too ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. I noticed after I got a few posts further down! ๐Ÿ™‚ I did a report on Peru in school. I would so love to go there someday. That’s a lot of catching up! Good luck!

    1. Isn’t it? I thought there weren’t any in India, but Wiki has a list that says there are six, all in the North!! None in South East Asia surprisingly! Thanks Island traveler.

    1. Oh Judy that is very kind of you ๐Ÿ™‚ Comments like yours makes my work here worthwhile…thank you so much!

    1. Thank you Mona. I have been following your adventures in Shanghai although I might not have stopped to comment too often ๐Ÿ™‚

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