A new study intends two solve the mystery of the syncing clocks and the 350 year old pendulum of history, or history of the pendulum. The pendulum clock has been forever puzzling scientists ever since its first discovery by Christiaan Huygens.
The Dutch scientists was, undoubtedly, a genius of engineering, science, and mathematics in general. He is known as being the inventor of the first clock to use a pendulum as well as, in a rudimentary form, one of the first watches to use the balance string principle.
Back in his time, more precisely in 1665, while being ill-stricken to bed, he noticed that two of his pendulum clock inventions which were mounted on one and the same beam sustaining his house had somehow come into perfect synchronization. Baffled by this, he quickly forgot all about his illness and jumped to restart the two clocks, each at a different time, so that they would be totally out of synch.
After quite some time had passed, the two machines had realigned with one another. Yet the synchronizing is not that typical. They did not swing in the same direction, but rather, increasingly each more in opposite direction from the other. In the end when one started from the right, the other was in the left. And the most amazing thing of all was that they remained in synch until they needed turning.
A pair of Portuguese scientists are now said to have solved the centuries old puzzle. Over a cup of coffee, the two thought that there may be a connection of the sound waves travelling through the connecting wooden beam that pushes them towards synchronizing. And they were right.
The two recreated the exact conditions of Huygens’s experiment and waited (for some time) to see the same results. While this was happening, they measured via highly sensitive sensors the details of each swing: speed, angle, everything.
The conclusion they reached was that the tick-tock mechanism in the clocks (the blocking and releasing of the gear within) produced sound waves constant and loud enough so as to send very small impulses towards the other clock. Over time, while left unaltered, the two clocks went into perfect synch. Upon reaching this state, the amazing thing was that the two clocks then canceled each-other out, causing them to remain in the same swing of the pendulum indefinitely.
However, the results are being contested by some who say that synchronization happens even when the clocks produce no sound waves whatsoever. The researchers have responding by saying that they will continue the experiments.
However, as so many things in the known universe go into synch naturally, it may be just that the supreme watchmaker above has just engineered things this way. After all, who are we to question the tick-tock of the universe?
Image source: smithsonianmag.com