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Accurate Clock Pendulums$
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Robert J. Matthys

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198529712

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529712.001.0001

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Correcting the pendulum’s air pressure error

Correcting the pendulum’s air pressure error

Chapter:
(p.185) Chapter 27 Correcting the pendulum’s air pressure error
Source:
Accurate Clock Pendulums
Author(s):

Robert James Matthys

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198529712.003.0027

This chapter describes how to calculate and remove the air pressure error from a clock's time error versus time chart. Depending on geographic location and the density of the pendulum materials, air pressure variations can cause roughly 2-18 seconds of error in a clock in a year's time interval. This is because the pendulum ‘floats’ in a sea of air, and variations in the air pressure make the pendulum slow down or speed up. In this chapter, the pressure error itself is described first, followed by an actual clock data run to show how the pressure error is calculated and then removed from a clock's time error versus time curve. Correcting for the pressure error corrects the clock's time to a constant average pressure at the clock site. The error is the product of the pressure difference times time. More specifically, it is the integral of the pressure difference with respect to time.

Keywords:   pendulum, air pressure error, time, time error, air pressure

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