The original 1851 Foucault's Pendulum at the Paris Technical museum fell from its cable, causing irreparable damage to the 28 kg brass bob.
The original pendulum, which was used by French scientist Leon Foucault to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth and which forms an integral part of [Umberto] Eco's novel's labyrinthine plot, has been irreparably damaged in an accident in Paris.Foucault's pendulum is sent crashing to Earth
The pendulum's cable snapped last month and its sphere crashed to the marble floor of the Musee des Arts et Metiers.
In 1851, Foucault used the pendulum to perform a sensational demonstration in the Paris Pantheon, proving to Napoleon III and the Parisian elite that the Earth revolved around its axis. Such was its success that the experiment was replicated throughout Europe.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.