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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.

NJIT, New Jersey's science and technology university, enrolls approximately 10,000 students pursuing bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in 120 programs. The university consists of six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, College of Architecture and Design, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, College of Computing Sciences and Albert Dorman Honors College. U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Annual Guide to America's Best Colleges ranked NJIT in the top tier of national research universities. NJIT is internationally recognized for being at the edge in knowledge in architecture, applied mathematics, wireless communications and networking, solar physics, advanced engineered particulate materials, nanotechnology, neural engineering and e-learning. Many courses and certificate programs, as well as graduate degrees, are available online through the Division of Continuing Professional Education.