Foucault's Pendulum

Taken at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci (Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology) in Milan, Italy.


"That was when I saw the Pendulum. The sphere, hanging from a long wire set into the ceiling of the choir, swayed back and forth with isochronal majesty. I knew -- but anyone could have sensed it in the magic of that serene breathing -- that the period was governed by the square root of the length of the wire and by pi, that number which however irrational to sublunar minds, through a higher rationality binds the circumference and diameter of all possible circles. The time it took the sphere to swing from end to end was determined by an arcane conspiracy between the most timeless of measures: the singularity of the point of suspension, the duality of the plane's dimensions, the triadic beginning of pi, the secret quadratic nature of the root, and the unnumbered perfection of the circle itself." -- Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco

Guy Montag, markus and 43 more people faved this
  • GeoWombats PRO 9y

    Fantastic photo. I've blogged this at
  • call me when you're sober 8y

  • Camille C 8y

    brilliantly photographed
  • Chris28mm 8y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Art of Technology, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.
  • Faith Goble 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Luminosity and Light, and we'd love to have your photo added to the group.
  • Matt 7y

    I wanted to let you know I've used this wonderful image in a post on a blog I edit about geospatial imaging for my company (see I've credited you by name. The image is stunning in itself, but it just happens to also mix really well with the background on the blog. It really pops! Anyway, I wanted to thank you, first for "being there" and taking such an evocative image, and then for letting me use it. It made my day.
  • Lorna Tedder 7y

    Hi, I blogged this photo at

    Just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your work under a cc license.
  • jilliembs 7y

    Thanks for posting you photo on Creative Commons. I've added it to the website


    Best wishes :)
  • maresogno67 PRO 6y

    mi piace
  • Julian Brezon 6y

    Hi, I've started a group for pictures of pendulums! So...

    You are invited to add this image to

  • polyglot1 4y

    Hi Ben: Thank you so much for this elegantly captured image. I wanted to let you know that I have adopted it for my page on FB: It visually articulates the mission of the Lab--succinct, clear, and stunning. Thank you so much for sharing your work!
  • sylvar 4y

    polyglot1 Cool! Will you please credit me at in accordance with the license?
  • blueskies27 4y

    This is a great photo ! We chose it for the cover of the December 2011 issue of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Magazine with the theme Measurement Technologies Past and Present.
    We have the caption and credit to you written: "Cover photo shows a Foucault pendulum hanging in Milan, Italy’s National Museum of Science and Technology. Photo courtesy of sylvar (
    Foucault's Pendulum by sylvar
    Is there any of that you want written differently? Thank you!
  • sylvar 4y

    blueskies27: That's great! I'd be proud if you'd use my name (Ben Ostrowsky) instead of my username. If it's not too late to make that change, of course.

  • Ashlynn Pai 1y

    I need to redesign my non-commercial website and am thinking of using this photo and a small part of the Foucault quote with proper attribution. Can you contact me if you think you will have a problem with it?
  • Ashlynn Pai 1y

    Sorry I meant the Eco quote. Doh!
  • sylvar 1y

    Ashlynn, you can use this photo with attribution, but the Eco quote is of course not mine. You'll have to determine for yourself whether your use of it falls within fair use.
45 faves
Taken in June 1996
  • Show EXIF
This photo is in 5 groups
This photo is in 2 albums
This photo is in 1 gallery

Additional info

  • Viewing this photo Public
  • Safety level of this photo Safe
  • S Search
    Photo navigation
    < > Thumbnail navigation
    Z Zoom
    B Back to context