Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Simple Theory

Umberto Eco was famously inspired by French physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault who, according to Writer’s Almanac, “invented the gyroscope and took the first clear photograph of the sun, and he introduced and helped develop a technique of measuring the absolute velocity of light with extreme accuracy. He is probably best known for originating the pendulum that demonstrated the earth's rotation.” Eco’s inspiration took form in Foucault’s Pendulum, a book that has been called “the thinking man’s Da Vinci Code.”

Foucault was born on this day in 1819 and Google honors his memory with one of their more elaborate doodles. This one is interactive and based on the Foucault pendulum, the device created in 1851 to confirm that the Earth did indeed go around. From Writer’s Almanac:
In his book Foucault's Pendulum (1990), Umberto Eco wrote: "The Pendulum told me that, as everything moved — earth, solar system, nebulae and black holes, all the children of the great cosmic expansion — one single point stood still: a pivot, bolt, or hook around which the universe could move. And I was now taking part in that supreme experience. I, too, moved with the all, but I could see the One, the Rock, the Guarantee, the luminous mist that is not body, that has no shape, weight, quantity, or quality, that does not see or hear, that cannot be sensed, that is in no place, in no time, and is not soul, intelligence, imagination, opinion, number, order, or measure. Neither darkness nor light, neither error nor truth."
See the complete collection of Google Doodles here.


Post a Comment

<< Home