Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pendulum waves

I came across the video above and thought it was cool enough to merit posting.

It's from Harvard Natural Science Lecture Demonstrations.  What you'll see in the video is a series of 15 different pendulums of increasing lengths.  These pendulums are set into motion and once that happens, intriguing geometric patterns begin to form within the motion.  As they say on the Harvard site: "One might call this kinetic art and the choreography of the dance of the pendulums is stunning!"

Indeed it is.  What accounts for it?  Well, precise adjustments in pendulum lengths to create specific quantities of oscillations for each pendulum.  Ok, even I'm not sure what I just said but I sorta get it.  Please refer to the link above for a more detailed explanation, otherwise you'll just be here with me, unable to see the forest for the copse.  

I find this experiment interesting on a number of levels.  I have always had a difficult time with math and to this day I struggle to perform even basic addition.  Math is therefore an enigma to me, something as mysterious in my reckoning as anything else I've discussed on this blog.  There is also real beauty in the discipline of mathematics.  This pendulum video proves it.  There seems to me, anyway...a methodical pattern in nature, an expression of mathematics that is almost a form of communication for our consciousness.

Just who or what is doing the communicating is what I am uncertain of...

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