Why Pendulum Clock Becomes Slow In Summer?


So nowadays, we’re right in between Winters and Summers, yea it’s everyone’s favorite blissful Spring these days. Changes in the seasons not only change our mood, emotions but also our body.

(If you want to see a list of some of the best pendulum clocks, “Click Here“)

What if I tell you that this ever-changing seasons also bring changes to things and materials around you? Even that pendulum clock hanging on the wall of your cozy living room is affected by the change of the seasons.

I am not really sure if you have ever noticed or heard that the pendulum clock goes slow in summer and fast in winter.

Is it true? Yes! it is.

How is it true? Well, that is what our whole today’s blog is about.

Change in Seasons is Change in Temperature

What actually differs Winter from Summer is actually the Sun. We get less sunny days in Winter as compared to Summers and so the real temperature stays low and we feel cold, vice-versa for the hot Summers.

Do we only feel this change in temperature due to changes between these seasons?

No, every living being around us feels this change from Winters to Summers, they just adapt to these changes in different ways than us. For example, your dog breathes rapidly to push warm air out of the body and replace it with cooler air from outside and plants transpire and evaporate more to have the cooling effect in scorching summer.

Do only living things feel the impact of change in temperature because of the change in seasons from winters to summer?

No, similar to other living beings they too just react differently!

Fun Fact

In The 70s, 80s, And 90s, Clockmakers Used To Mark Their Pendulum Clocks “Tempus Fugit”, If You Want To Know More About It “Click HereOpens in a new tab.

How temperature changes things around you?

So, how non-living things like a pendulum clock react to this change in temperature? It contracts and expands.

Not only just pendulum clock but every other material feel this change from winters to summer or vice-versa and react to it by either expanding or contracting.

Scientists call this phenomenon “Thermal Expansion and Contraction”; thermal expansion occurs when you heat the material and it gains more internal energy. The atoms within the material move around faster, and the material expands. Thermal contraction occurs when you cool the material down, and the atoms don’t have that much energy.

Change of Seasons and Pendulum Clocks

Why Pendulum Clock Goes Slow In Summer And Fast In Winter? One line answer: because of thermal expansion and contraction.

How thermal expansion and contraction changes the speed of the pendulum clocks?

The speed of the pendulum clock is referred to as the pendulum movement of the clock. A pendulum is the main timekeeping element of a pendulum clock. Clock pendulums are usually made out of weights suspended on a wood rod or a metal rod. Thermal expansion and contraction of the material pf the pendulum changes the length of a pendulum which results in a change in the motion of the pendulum and hence having different speeds in Winter and Summer.

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How changes in the length of the pendulum change its speed?

Why Pendulum Clock Becomes Slow In Summer?
The equation for Time Period of a Pendulum

A simple pendulum clock consists of a Bob and metal wire connected to the bob.

The time period of a simple pendulum clock is:- T=2π√l/g

That means that the time period is directly proportional to the length of a metal wire of the pendulum.

In summer the temperature is high and this causes the length of metal wire to increase significantly(as the temperature coefficient of metal wire is high)causes to increase the time period of a pendulum and this makes the clock slower whereas in winter the temperature is low so the metal wire contracts and this causes to decrease the time period of a pendulum and makes the pendulum faster.

Do Pendulum Clocks Stop During An Earthquake?

Yes, pendulum clocks do stop during an earthquake, if you want to know more about this “Click HereOpens in a new tab.

Are Pendulum Clocks Suitable For Space Travel?

Nope, Pendulum clocks are not suitable for space, “Click HereOpens in a new tab.” to know more!

Hopefully, this article was helpful in answering some of your Pendulum clocks-related questions If you have any further clock-related questions at all, feel free to use the comment section below. And if you want to read an interesting article on why clocks don’t appear in dreams, we have a great article on just that so do give it a click if you are interested “Why don’t clocks appear in dreams? Clocks and dreams!Opens in a new tab.“. Here is also a link about the history of clocks if you want to give that a look “History of timekeeping devicesOpens in a new tab.

AK Iqbal

A University of London’ student with a passion for writing. Clocks have always intrigued me and the importance that they have in our lives is way beyond phenomenal. So, on this site, I write everything about clocks, everything from answering any clock-related queries that you might have along with recommending some of my favorite clocks accordingly. Moreover, I will also be conducting some researches on clock related topics and sharing the things that I learn. So stay tuned to ohmyclock for all the fun clocks related content

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