A Scientific Work of Art – The Foucault Pendulum
After seeing a feature they had created for the EDS Headquarters in Plano TX, Ray Hunt of Hunt Oil commissioned a Foucault Pendulum from Pegasus Studios. What started out as a need for a feature for the lobby of the Hunt Oil Building in Dallas TX, ended as a work of art that combines the natural beauty of stone with the power of science.
A Foucault Pendulum is a simple device used to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. A large pendant is hung from a height with a weight, called a Bob, attached to the end of it. The pendulum is released to swing in a back and forth motion. During the course of the day, the pendulum appears to rotate, however it is swinging in the same back and forth pattern and it is actually the Floor rotating as the Earth rotates that makes it appear as though the pendulum is working in a circular motion.
In the Hunt Oil Foucault Pendulum the motion is demonstrated by a series of pins set up at the exterior of the design. As the pendulum swings, the motion of the earth cause it to knock over the pins in a circular pattern. You can learn more about the science of Foucault Pendulums here.
Seven different types of stone were used in the project, including Starry Night, Nero Marquina, Rossa Radica, Tan Diano Reale, Bianco Carrara, Black Absolute and Tan marble. Twenty-five individual slabs were purchased in order to pick the correct areas of the stone. Great care was taken to ensure that the colors of stone matched consistently. Grain direction in the stone was utilized to enhance the over all design. In the end, 2,600 individual pieces were cut and laid to create this amazing work of art.
Some challenges came with having so many small pieces.
“Even with the waterjet machines, it doesn’t take a lot for it to be off. With thousands of pieces, if one is off, it has a tremendous ripple effect and nothing fits.”
- Philip Einsohn- President Waterjet Works.
You can read more about the collaborative process to complete The Hunt Oil Foucault Pendulum in an article by Stone World Magazine which you can find here.
In Collaboration with
Installation: Dee Brown Inc.