By John R. Pierce
Starting with a glance on the energy and gear of sinusoidal waves, author John R. Pierce explores wave media and modes, section speed and team speed, vector and intricate illustration, power and momentum, coupled modes and coupling among modes, polarization, diffraction, and radiation. References and an index look on the finish of the book.
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Extra info for Almost All About Waves
However, there also was the huge mechanical clock built about 1090 ce by the Chinese mandarin Su Sung, which incorporated as a central element the escapement mechanism that had been at the heart of a clock built in China some 300 years earlier. Whether knowledge of this Chinese invention had reached Europe is unclear, and we have no evidence that Gerbert was aware of it. For all we know, the escapement was independently invented in Europe and in China within a time span of about 150 years. In some other details, however, the mechanical clocks of China and Europe differed greatly, quite apart from the fact that Su Sung’s big astronomical clock tower was ultimately water-powered, whereas in Europe the escapement was employed in weight-driven timepieces (see Figure 7).
Although the idea of using a pendulum as a timing device was not new—the Arab astronomer Ibn Yunis the Younger was reported to have employed it as early as the twelfth century, and there are sketches by Leonardo da Vinci showing the pendulum in such a role—only after Galileo’s fundamental discovery of its ﬁxed period of oscillation (its isochronism) did its distinct and special suitability become clear. Figure 13 shows schematically how the combination of pendulum cum escapement works in the form used after 1670.
The axle holding the escape wheel is driven by a cord or chain holding a weight, as it had been in earlier clocks (and still is in reproductions of traditional clocks)—in later times it would be driven by a coiled spring.
Almost All About Waves by John R. Pierce