Pendulum clocks are one of the most precious pieces of vintage art and most powerful and valuable examples of refinement. Human mind sometimes works in finest ways and we have entire files of history which hold important artworks.
Time measurement devices are a question of fineness and Christiaan Huygens, the inventor of pendulum clocks had an extremely precious and remarkable way of making state of the art items, shaped by the complex workings of a very rich imagination.
Christian Huygens was the inventor of the first balance spring watch. But after completing the work of art, he observed strange things happening. The pendulums of two clocks attached to the same beam are somehow perfectly designed to synchronize their swings. The pendulums oscillate in perfect opposition to one another.
The inventor was appalled by the strange event so he tried to stop and restart the clocks at different times, in order to see if the harmony happened by a perfect mistake. The pendulums eventually returned to their symmetric dance, in spite of all trials and tribulations over the peculiar synchronicity.
A team of scientists has managed to unlock the mystery behind the strange trick. They set the clocks to ticking and measured each and every swing of their pendulums with high precision sensors. The swings came into sync with one another, as expected, but the reason why that continues to happen lays in the sophisticated mechanic of the timepiece itself.
Seemingly, when the pendulum swings one way, it turns a dispositive in the clock’s inner workings which in turn drops the weight that pulls the second hand around the clock’s face. The dispositive catches and the pendulum swings the other way, setting the mechanism in motion endlessly.
When two clocks are hung from the same beam, their endless tick-tock starts to influence how their pendulums swing. The sound pulses can travel through the common beam and act as a small “kick” that almost invisibly alters the pendulum’s swings. As time passes by and the tick-tock does its natural course, the little kicks add up to bring the swings closer and closer into synch. The moment when the clocks are at “phase opposition” they reach opposite points of their swing at the same time. In fewer words, the two clocks become stuck in synchronicity with one another.
This is the first time a team of scientists has managed to unlock the precious piece of mystery but is not the first time scientists try to tackle the topic. 2002 was the last year when a team of researchers have embarked on a mission to explain the peculiar event. After years of research, scientists have discovered why pendulum clocks sync up.
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