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Contact Information: Tanya Klein Public Relations 973-596-3433

NJIT Math Club Constructs a Foucaultís Pendulum To Demonstrate Earth's Rotation

WHAT: The NJIT Math Club will make a Foucault pendulum to prove that the Earth rotates. Club members will affix a long cable to a ceiling in a campus building and tie a bowling ball to the end of the cable. The cable will dangle down six flights. Students in the club will then let the ball sway as they chart its trajectory. Foucault’s pendulum was the first easy-to-see experiment that proved the rotation of the Earth by showing that the sway of the ball is not straight. 

WHO: Jonathan Lansey, president of the NJIT Math Club, and Ike Agbanusi, a club member, will do the demonstration with the support of their adviser, Roy Goodman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of mathematical sciences. 

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 2:30 p.m.

WHERE: The students will set up and perform the Foucault pendulum demonstration in the rear stairway of Fenster Hall.

BACKGROUND: A Foucault pendulum, named after the French physicist Leon Foucault, was conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth in 1851. Ever since then, students have used the demonstration to see for themselves the effect of the earth’s rotation on moving objects.

One of the nation's leading public technological universities, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) is a top-tier research university that prepares students to become leaders in the technology-dependent economy of the 21st century. NJIT's multidisciplinary curriculum and computing-intensive approach to education provide technological proficiency, business acumen and leadership skills. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, NJIT offers small-campus intimacy with the resources of a major public research university. NJIT is a global leader in such fields as solar research, nanotechnology, resilient design, tissue engineering, and cyber-security, in addition to others. NJIT ranks 5th among U.S. polytechnic universities in research expenditures, topping $110 million, and is among the top 1 percent of public colleges and universities in return on educational investment, according to PayScale.com.