A Note on Professor Reg Cahill's First Series of Paraconical Pendulum Observations in Adelaide, Australia

This is a quick note describing the first 12-hour period of work with paraconical pendulums done by Profs. Reg Cahill and Lance McCarthy of Flinders University, Adelaide Australia.

In time for the solar eclipse of 8 April 2005, they set up two paraconical pendulums to vibrate in perpendicular initial azimuths.

One of these pendulums is designed to be mobile, and is mounted upon a massive frame; the other is solidly fixed to the structure of an underground bunker in the university premises. (This bunker was originally designed for seismographic work, and contains no magnetic material whatsoever.)

This photo shows the mobile pendulum, with Profs. McCarthy and Cahill, and Anton Dickmann, a student who was kind enough to lend a hand:

A closer view of the pendulum in its frame:

The stirrup with the ball support:

The measurement table for this mobile pendulum, which has been dubbed "Scheherazade":

An overall view of the second pendulum,mounted between a heavy lump of concrete (which originally served as a workbench for the seismographs), and a solid concrete pillar:

A first close-up of the stirrup ring and ball support of this pendulum:

A second close-up of the stirrup:

The measurement table:

Susan Gummer, who helped with the observations:

Starting from 14:30 UT on 8 April 2005, the team obtained the precession curves shown in this chart:

The solar eclipse started at about 19:00 UT, quite near Adelaide, thus at about 250 on the horizontal axis in this chart. No particular effect due to the eclipse can be discerned in the graphs. But consider the clearly visible, and extraordinary, undulatory configuration of the curves! The two pendulums were well separated and could not influence one another directly due to transmission of vibrations. Nevertheless, it is very clear that they were behaving in a strongly correlated manner. This constitutes an unknown phenomenon, and it must be considered as being of great importance. The general scale of these waves - period about 150 minutes or so - is presumably a pointer to their cause, which currently remains obscure. It is not clear what type of astronomical phenomenon could generate effects on such a time scale.

Professors Cahill and McCarthy are continuing their investigations.


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