Kater Reversible Gravity Pendulum

Kater Reversible Gravity Pendulum

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The Kater reversible free swinging pendulum was invented in 1817 by British physicist and army captain Henry Kater, and used to measure the local acceleration of gravity. This example came from Bowdoin College where, in the late nineteenth century, students in the elementary physics course learned to determine “the force of gravity with Kater’s pendulum.”
Ref: Bowdoin College, Catalogue (Brunswick, Me., 1890), pp.28-29.
Victor Lenzen and Robert Multhauf, "Development of Gravity Pendulums in the 19th Century," United States National Museum Bulletin 240 (1965): 301-348.
Currently not on view
Object Name
pendulum, reversible (Kater's pendulum)
overall: 11.2 cm x 95.9 cm x 11.2 cm; 4 7/16 in x 37 3/4 in x 4 7/16 in
overall in case: 4 1/8 in x 37 5/8 in x 4 1/8 in; 10.4775 cm x 95.5675 cm x 10.4775 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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